One Punch Reviews #16: Kiskaloo

So who is this Chris Sanders guy? What are his vital stats? A/S/L, if you will? First off, the man looks a little like Anthony Bourdain. Second, the man’s got great taste in the ladies. His cheesecake art gravitates toward a healthier, tanned, and more rounded (yet not overweight) feminine form. I imagine him looking at those beanpole dames in the magazines and going, “You ain’t it, Ms. Thing!”

Let’s, what else? Oh, yeah, he was also the director of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, taking an active part in all aspects, not the least of which was the artistic direction. That achievement is wack. Heck, Chris Sanders represents the sort of guy I wanted to be when I grew up (save the Anthony Bourdain resemblance). Things haven’t been going so well between him and Disney lately, what with them hijacking his project American Dog (now called Bolt and starring, ugh, John Travolta and Miley Cyrus). But Sanders’ unique approach to cartoons lives on, most prominently on his own webcomic called Kiskaloo.

OK, so Sanders has got cred. Yet mainstream success doesn’t aways translate to success in the webcomic world. In fact, it may be a detriment. Sanders, after all, has a fairly demanding career in animation. Can he pull off a quality webcomic while facing the daily rigors as a director at Dreamworks?

Fortunately, the answer is an enthusiastic “Yes!” Now, don’t go into Kiskaloo thinking that it’s an earth-shattering Oh-My-God-This-Is-Changing-Things-Forever webcomic. It isn’t. The comic, in fact, feels very familiar. It’s the sort of strip that you might find in the funny pages. Fortunately, Kiskaloo leans more toward the Liberty Meadows and Calvin & Hobbes end of the spectrum than the Hi & Lois end. In other words, Sanders does what he does, and he does it well.

Kiskaloo stars a furry little cat with a skull eye-patch. If I don’t miss my guess, he was one of the original stars in the original incarnation of American Dog. (The cast page lists him as a former Hollywood star. Sanders, you sly boots.) Anyway, he starts Kiskaloo without a name. This later becomes an epic tales itself, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. As the comic starts, the cat, for some reason, attempts to capture Baby New Year 2008. You might ask why he would want to do such a thing, but, really, why not? Especially when Sanders scheduled his first strip from the end of 2007/beginning of 2008. From that point, it’s on to a series of bizarre sequences that ends with New Year turning out to be — what else? — a total hottie. The storyline may be seasonal, but the goofy, light-hearted mood seems to set the stage as to what to expect from Kiskaloo in the future.

And then it’s on to the next exciting adventure! The cat comes to the sudden realization he needs a name. He finds out that his pal, Lil-… er, Sesi, has the uncanny power in giving names and making them stick. And if the cat want a good name, he’d better do what she says. What follows is a fairly ridiculous quest involving a bottle of perfume, a latter day Addams Family, and a buny named Mister Stuffings. Oh, yeah, and another total hottie.

As expected, the art is delightful and easily the best part of the comic. Kiskaloo contains that professional sheen and traditional artwork that many webcomics lack. The illustrations, all black and white, are done in that old school 1940’s and 1950’s cartooning style that would make Walt Kelly proud. The cat’s head is especially fuzzy and round, the sort that tempts you to cuddle and scratch given the opportunity. And Kiskaloo as a whole is whimsical, a rarity these days. Surprisingly, the strip updates fairly frequently at a place of one strip a week. (OK, frequently for a guy of Sander’s calibre, anyway. You know how long it took Whedon to crank out Astonishing X-Men?)

Now, the strip never goes deeper than its basic theme: a cute little cat with a stylish eyepatch going on crazy adventures. But maybe that’s all you need to have some fun.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

EDIT: Bah. I thought I learned my lesson last week about writing reviews while watching Monday Night Raw. Why do I never listen to myself? Anyway, review is edited. Sorry about the choppiness of the earlier version.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on August 4, 2008, in 4 Stars, adventure webcomic, all ages webcomic, comedy webcomic, funny animal webcomic, One Punch Reviews, The Webcomic Overlook, Uncategorized, webcomics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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