Peanutbutter & Jeremy's Best Book Ever! |
by James Kochalka
(Alternative Comics, 2003)
This book will be enjoyed by the young in age and young at heart alike. Reading Peanutbutter & Jeremy's Best Book Ever! on a cloudy day (literal or metaphorical) will guarantee a sunny disposition.
Peanutbutter is a cat that wears hats and a tie, because she thinks she works in an office. She dreams about filing and will awake from a catnap with a strong desire to finish the Flumdummer account or mail the Fleebleflop report. Jeremy is a crafty, sarcastic crow that lives outside Peanutbutter's window. Jeremy loves hats and will stop at nothing -- trickery, robbery, chicanery -- to get them. When the two cross paths, a wacky friendship ensues.
The artwork is straightforward black ink on white pages, with bold contrasts making the story easy to follow. Jeremy is rendered with a clever combination of sinister, precocious and cute. Peanutbutter is absolutely adorable, especially when she smiles.
OK, this book has a simple enough premise with a simple approach. In fact, it seems too simple, so much that you'll start to overanalyze each element. Oh, let's do a head-trip on the cross-cultural complexities implied in the cat-bird relationship. What about the deeper sociological significance to Peanutbutter's desire to work yet never completing said work? Undoubtedly, there's a potential thesis on the existential meaning of each "hat".... But, you know, sometimes you have to just turn off that annoying over-analytical voice in your head and enjoy something as a simple pleasure.
A cat, some hats and a crow that wants those hats. That's it. Now, enjoy!