BoxBoy & Whiskers, by Steven Lelito– A story about a boy and his telepathic cat
BoxBoy & Whiskers are on a quest to investigate newly found alien sightings while trying to stay under the radar of the police, people from his past, and AGGRESSIVE VILLAINS? Uh-oh! With your help, we can bring this epic adventure to life!
Who are BoxBoy and Whiskers, you ask?
Under the Box, he is a 12 year old orphaned kid named Bixby who soars through the streets of Vert City on his skateboard with his cat-partner in crime, Whiskers. Whiskers isn’t your typical cat; he is purple with a silver stripe pattern-who communicates with Bixby telepathically.
How it all begins.
Bixby has spent the past 5 years doing his best to remain under the radar with his cat, Whiskers, and has recently started fighting crime under the guise “BoxBoy”. After a random encounter with someone from his past, Bixby’s unwanted attention has him under the scope of Brom, an aggressive street-gang leader who had, up until now, assumed him dead…and is not thrilled to know he is alive.From the Box Boy Kickstarter campaign page…
I got a look at the inaugural issue of Box Boy & Whiskers, and as a whimsical piece of creative storytelling it’s definitely what I’d call “left of center”. The tone is all about the sarcastic repartee between the two title characters, and Bixby’s (aka Box Boy) own inner dialogue. He’s got some ideas of how his life is going, and apparently he fancies himself something of a noir-ish lone wolf. There are hints of a past that Lelito has yet to clue us in on, so there’s an indication of a lot of story still to be told.
Lelito’s artistic style leans hard into a stylized cartoon look that does nothing to alleviate the rapid fire nature of the story behind it. For where he seems to be going, Lelito has a pretty solid handle on developing his own visual flair. But don’t let the look fool you, this might not be for young readers. While it isn’t outright graphic, there are still some panels of violence that Lelito keeps in full display. I’d say this could be aimed at a teen audience, maybe some of the Adult Swim, Rick & Morty crowd.
If there were one thing I’d like to see in future installments, it would be for Lelito to try to slow things down a little. The first issue races through the panels without giving his readers a chance to really settle in or get to know his lead character (or characters… I’m pretty sure that Whiskers is a little more than just a cat). There are references to things that happened in Bixby’s past, with no real indication of what they might have been or why it would be coming back to haunt him.
If you’re looking for a comic that’s full of energy and enthusiasm, from a storyteller who’s got an obvious hankering to tell it, throw a couple bucks into this Kickstarter while you can (it’s got ten days to go, as of the writing of this article). If nothing else, you can show some support for a young creator looking to put something he made out into the world. That’s pretty hardcore, and is worth at least a look.
Final Score: 9/13