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Are You Gonna Eat That?

Jimmy Craig
Ulysses Press
$16.95 (print) / $9.99 (digital)

The Essential Collection of They Can Talk Comics

People love their pets…cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, and every thing in between. We’d all probably be lying if we said we don’t talk to our furry or feathered friends like they’re toddlers or carry on entire adult conversations or just generally try to figure out what they’re thinking. It me as the saying goes, every single time I have the opportunity to watch a couple dogs for relatives.

If anyone knows what animals are thinking it’s cartoonist Jimmy Craig whose They Can Talk comics began to appear in the summer of 2015. My own first encounter with Craig’s imaginative work was much more recent while I was online either practicing the art of procrastination or doomscrolling or possibly both. Whichever the case, the sudden appearance of talking animals made for a welcome surprise and a needed mood boost. This happened a few more times but always without me tracking down the source. Luckily that will no longer be a problem with this gem of a book that’s out now.

Clean contour line art paired with minimalist backgrounds and limited color for visual interest maximizes the witty jokes.

Inside this book you’ll find 115 pages of cartoons including new strips, favorites, and some redrawn classics. Of course as hoomins’ best friend and ambivalent roommate respectively, dog and cats with their lovable, quirky behavior receive much of Craig’s attention. Craig finds abundant opportunities with other critters great and small to turn his humorous mind to – from various insects to lions, gazelles, mice, birds, and several members of the aquatic world. Hoomins, sorry, I mean humans make an occasional appearance too though Craig smartly never shows their faces. Turning the pages I began to notice human behavior being reflected in Craig’s witty jokes. Like with much comedy there is some truth wrapped up in Craig’s savvy banter and I’m pleased to say that all of it is good natured.

Thanks to Craig’s astute observations Are You Gonna Eat That? feels to me like the amusing equivalent to Zen koans delivering a flash of insight into life through laughter!

You may have already seen Craig’s work in The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest, and Hallmark or his popular greeting cards for Woodmansterne Publications. He currently works as a Story Artist for Illumination. Among its films are The Secret Life of Pets 2, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and the Despicable Me franchise.

Look for Are You Gonna Eat That? at your local bookstore or ask them to order a copy with the ISBN 9781646044511. Or try Bookshop and Indiebound. If all else fails or you prefer, you can buy a copy from Amazon.

March 20, 2023
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