By Katie Liggera
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of anthropomorphic cats who sojourn through the galaxy on a spaceship. Also, these cats can exit the ship when necessary by donning the most adorable little spacesuits.
Captain Ginger takes place in a post-human world where an alien force dubbed the “Lumen” apparently brought about mankind’s extinction. Thus, Earth’s only hope to sustain remnants from human society was to genetically alter cats and blast them off into the stars. If I was a scientist, I’d probably suggest the same idea.
The first time I read Captain Ginger, I was enamored with the entire concept. The cats adopt human characteristics such as speech, intelligence, and bipedalism, yet physically appear and engage in cat-like behaviors. The main appeal to these creatures in both a visual and narrative sense lies in how they can’t kick their cat instincts – despite taking on human behaviors, they still return to their base animal instincts throughout the series. The cats always fundamentally remain cats.
But an image I can never quite stop thinking about occurs in the comic series’ first oversized issue: Cats and kittens tethered to the ship while wearing spacesuits and kitten-sized helmets.
In Captain Ginger #1, we meet the eponymous orange tabby tomcat, Captain Ginger. Among the motley crew of felines who perform various duties aboard the spaceship is the underrated heart and soul of the ship Indomitable, Ramscoop. The calico cat helps keep the ship afloat whilst still a working mother, carrying out her duties swiftly at a computerized control panel while her dozens of children simultaneously clamber all over Ramscoop and her instruments. She’s a multitasking boss mom.
Ramscoop never second-guesses her own abilities. In what may be the best panel sequence in AHOY Comics history, Ginger leads a party comprising his trusted cat officers outside to investigate a waystation power source. Ginger asks whether Ramscoop truly wants to come with the guys to help… and the very next panel shows Ramscoop and a handful of her kittens suited up in neon orange spacesuits and appropriately sized helmets for their tiny bodies. Every day is “bring your kid to work day” for Ramscoop. And this mom doesn’t miss a beat.
Cut to that half-page panel on the next page unveiling how June Brigman’s illustrations capture the essence of cats coexisting in the sci-fi genre.
Ginger takes precedent in the forefront, trailed by simplistically rendered imagery featuring Ramscoop and the kittens floating against the teal-hued infinite beyond of space with fearlessness. It’s a magical scene. Resplendent colors from Veronica Gandini imbue the illustration with inhibition. This is freedom, science-fiction, and cuteness released into shimmering wonder. Kittens in spacesuits–who knew this is what the comic world needed?
The whole creative team conceptualized a reality specifically tailored to my interests in this first issue. And ideally, cats should survive an apocalypse for numerous reasons. The rationale is simple: Cats are better than people and they look darn cute wearing spacesuits.
Captain Ginger #1
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: June Brigman
Inker: Roy Richardson
Colourist: Veronica Gandini
Letterers: Jimmy Betancourt and RIchard Starkings
Katie Liggera is a writer and reviewer for websites including Comic Book Yeti, The Daily Fandom, and Gatecrashers. For more, you can find Katie on Twitter here!
This post was made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!