My Cat Loki Volume 2
by Bettina M. Kurkoski
Cover Artist: Bettina M. Kurkoski
Review by Dehanna Bailee
TokyoPop Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781598167320
Date: 07 August 2007 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
"Cats don't do work ... that's what humans are for..."
In the first edition, readers are introduced to Ameya, a gifted artist who upon learning of the death of his beloved pet abruptly stops painting. Years later, he unexpectedly finds a stray cat under a bench in the park.
It's after Ameya takes this somewhat of a miscreant into his life that this book begins: with him curling up on the couch to watch a movie as he is recovering from an injury to his foot. He inquires to Loki, his newfound kitty, if he would wish to join him but instead of the sought after pleasure of a snuggle buddy, Ameya is suddenly thrust back into a series of painful memories--memories that reveal why his first cat, Luka, meant so much to him. And as to why he gave up his art. The tragic moment suddenly vanishes as the fairly unsocial Loki, almost as if feeling his distress, finally agrees to sit with him.
A few days later finds Ameya preparing to clean the studio he still owns with Loki (amusingly dressed like a maid) in tow. The idea is brought to a quick halt as his agent, Miss Chacha, arrives on the scene and orders him to stop hiding in his abode and get out to get some fresh air. Reluctantly he agrees, leaving Miss Chacha alone with a perturbed Loki where she unexpectedly, but very happily, discovers that Ameya is once again attending to his art, even if the subject is a bit odd in her opinion.
Meanwhile, Ameya heads down the road to his local coffee shop where he gets into a conversation with his former employer and a girl on the staff only to be interrupted by a young lady who, accompanied by her own cat, slips on a wet floor and practically falls into his lap. As one good tumble causes another, Ameya rapidly finds himself face-to-face with an attractive young photographer who just might hold the key to his getting back into the world.
But as he begins to spend more and more time with her, will Ameya, much less Loki and Miss Chacha, be prepared to live with the choices he thinks he's ready to make?
Overall, the story works--gently introducing the reader to the backstory and some of the quirky aspects of both Loki and Ameya before gradually continuing to develop from there. Although at times it does slow, on the whole it is a steadily paced tale, without too much to distract from the story or lose the reader.
The characters hold enough of their own unique qualities to keep the reader involved and interested. The endearing artwork was sufficiently done and did a good job portraying the story and engaging the reader. One note: Ameya's almost seamless visualization of the "boy-kitty" transformation of both Luka and Loki was nicely made.
In essence, My Cat Loki is a sweet, easy read dramatic fantasy designed for readers of most ages and is pretty safe for the younger lot (no violence, sex, etc.). Some non-cat aficionados may not instinctively understand some of the interplay between the characters but it probably won't detract too much from the overall tale if they don't.