The psychedelic art of an Adventure Time-inspired Chinese webcomic
Electrocat and Lightning Dog is an indie webcomic set in a futuristic world of talking animals, aliens and psychedelic strawberries. Inspired by Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time, it follows the tried-and-true formula of two best friends going on random adventures, except that Electrocat and Lightning Dog is even more zany and non-linear than its progenitor.
The main highlight of Electrocat and Lightning Dog is definitely its illustrations. Its non-sequitur plot, slapstick characters and imaginative setting are interesting enough, but its fine linework and dynamic colors are almost always dazzling.
Author-illustrator Bu Er Miao uses a signature illustration style that combines rough hand-drawn lines, sparse-but-stark neon colors, and a willingness to break out of the square panel format:
This psychedelic effect meshes surprisingly well with the comic’s sci-fi setting and erratic characters. Unfortunately, the drawing quality droops a little towards the end of the second volume, where, as the author admits, the plot also loses steam and grinds to a halt.
In a TCJ feature on Chinese webcomics in 2015, Bu Er Miao declared that Douban was the only site where she was interested in publishing her work. But in the same article and elsewhere on social media, she’s also confessed that the earnings from the Electrocat and Lightning Dog e-book were underwhelming, and that her audience for it did not balloon as she hoped. Since then, she too has made the slow shift over to WeChat, where she posts several times a week and where Electrocat and Lightning Dog is given out as a freebie for new followers.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article referred to the work as Electric Cat and Lightning Dog. This has been amended to Electrocat and Lightning Dog based on the official translation by Paradise Systems.
Title: 电子猫和霹雳狗 Electrocat and Lightning Dog
Release date: 2014
Languages: Simplified Chinese, English
Author: 不二喵 Bu Er Miao
Purchase an e-book of part one from Douban, or read both parts for free on the author’s Douban albums page.
Update: Purchase the English print edition from Paradise Systems.
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