Review by Woodrow Phoenix
The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats in One More for the Road is the fourth collection of single-panel cartoons published as a twice-weekly webcomic by Adam ‘Ape Lad’ Koford. Apart from one collection put out by Abrams, Koford has published these volumes himself, and he has messed with the ‘collect-the-set’ tendencies you might expect to find among book buyers by making every one of these volumes a different shape. ‘Meet the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats’ was a small chunky paperback book, The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out was a larger square hardcover, Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats was a standard b-format paperback and this volume is a much thicker, landscape-formatted paperback, so a group of these titles on your shelves is not going to be a homogenous collection at all. They do mirror all the typical ways books of newspaper cartoons are designed, which is what Koford has recreated by giving each one a distinct appearance.
Meowlin Q. Kitteh and his kitten companion Pip, the very first ‘LOLcats’ have been wandering through their old-timey depression-era setting for eleven years at this point, and the tightly prescribed boundaries of this meme-generated format haven’t stopped Kitteh and Pip from developing quite well-defined characters. Kitteh is a cigar-smoking, quick-tempered roustabout kind of dude who has a literary streak and a propensity towards kleptomania. Pip is creative, always scribbling on walls, excited every week when Caturday rolls around, loves leaves (which he of course calls “leafs” ) and obsessively collects specimens to stuff into Kitteh’s bindle, and is a very good cook, unlike Kitteh who is terrible. Those strict rules by which their world was governed have relaxed. They still speak only in abbreviated lolcat language, but Koford has widened out the content of their ironic speech, and their memes now come from all over pop culture and not just internet protocols. In one panel Pip is wearing a chef’s hat and stirring a big cooking pot. He is making one of his stews over an open fire for Kitteh and a guest sitting next to him, holding a bowl, who looks just like Lando Calrissian. “I am altering teh meal,” Pip announces. “Pray I do not alter it any furthr.”
In 2018 the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats cartoons reached number 3000 and Koford announced an end to the regular posting schedule. The cats would appear “whenever the mood strikes me just right, which won’t be never, but also won’t be twice a week … and not always in single panel form.” This means there are unlikely to be any more big collections like this one, but Koford assures us: “Kitteh and Pip aren’t going anywhere. They’ll always be among us, right where we least expect them. Thanks again and see you soon!”