Have you ever wondered what a 20-something magical girl might be like? If so, you should probably plan on picking up a copy of Bee and Puppycat, created and co-written by Natasha Allegri. The comic, based on the animated webseries of the same title, tells the tale of hapless Bee and the mysterious Puppycat, who fell out of the sky and changed both of their lives forever. Even before the first season of the series broke the record for the most successfully funded webseries on Kickstarter, BOOM! Studios was teasing audiences with “of course we’re making the comic.” On May 14th, issue one of six hits comic book shops, co-written by Allegri and Garrett Jackson, with art by Allegri and colors by Patrick Seery.
Allegri has noted that Bee and Puppycat has several style and story influences, and the most obvious of them all may be Sailor Moon. In a 2013 Comics Alliance interview, Allegri stated “It’s all Sailor Moon, definitely.” Bee is a contemporary, 20-something Usagi Tsukino (or Serena for my dub watching peeps), but instead of struggling to keep up her grades like Usagi, Bee struggles to hold down a job. In the series pilot, Puppycat appears in a flash of light, knocking Bee to the ground as she walks home after being fired from her latest job, just as Usagi literally stumbles across Luna, the sagely feline guardian in Sailor Moon.
As Luna facilitates Usagi’s transformation into Sailor Moon, Puppycat initiates Bee’s transformation (into an outfit she doesn’t like), but instead of a transformation brooch, Bee gets a psychedelic cat scratch, a space suit, and a sword. Unlike Luna, who often derided Usagi’s obsession with food and boys, Puppycat may be slightly more positive, despite his curmudgeonly nature. Allegri stated:
“My main concern was to avoid mean spirited humor… I wanted to try to make something that was nice, with good intentions. But other than that… there’s a lot of early 90′s kid anime influences.”
These obvious influences only add to Bee and Puppycat’s charm. The series presents a fresh approach to the magical girl genre, infusing it with heartfelt humor and very real characters that are equal parts sweet, flawed, and relatable. Little has been revealed about the storyline itself, other than BOOM! describing it as a slice of life story. If the pilot is any indicator, readers will follow Bee as she navigates unemployment, interstellar battles, and awkward encounters with her handsome neighbor. Perhaps the comics will even reveal more of Puppycat’s tragic origin story, but we’ll just have to wait until May 14th to find out.
And, if you just can’t wait to pick it up from your local comic book shop, you can pre-order a subscription for all six issues from BOOM! online. Issues will ship the week of the print release.