Herding Cats Graphic Novel Review

Erica gives this comic three stars

Herding CatsHerding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3) by Sarah Andersen
#52Challenge prompt: a book you can read in a day

Herding Cats is my first Sarah Andersen book. My partner gifted it to me based on title. She’s one of those comic book writers who superhero nerds are like “what you exist?!”, and one that shows all the cracks in the direct market and single issue system. And she’s someone coming from a big wave of American web comics being picked up by publishers hungry for comics.

The book is generally enjoyable. The strips are autobiographical, and around Sarah’s observations about the world. A lot are about her cats. I’m a cat lady — if you hadn’t already figured that out — and I’m always going to be charmed by cat shenanigans. Even the non-cat stories are mostly relatable. Especially, I imagine, if you are a cis woman in your late 20s, which I’m close enough to that age.

What Herding Cats does lack is an overall narrative structure. These are moments in every day life, but not guided by anything else except Andersen’s whims. Which is fine; however, it did leave me wanting a bit more of some through threads.

Andersen ends the book with a bit more structure in a guide for young creatives making art on the internet in 2018. Many reviewers on Goodreads and fans of her other books seemed to like this less. For me, it gave something more to the book. I liked and appreciated what she said about having to put yourself out there and also how to take care of yourself. You know, beyond not reading the comments.

Overall, I find myself a bit ambivalent about Andersen’s Sarah Scribbles. Looking at it now, I went back and lowered my rating from 4 to 3 stars. I don’t think I’d actively pursue reading more in this series, but I wouldn’t rule out reading future work from her on other books.

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