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Cat’n’Bat by Sashko Danylenko

Anna Azarova
15 July 2018

Most books are for reading. This one is more for watching and having fun. Still, with visuals inspired by silent comedy and black humour, there is much more to it.
Cat’n’Bat is a debut graphic novel by Ukrainian-born New York-based independent filmmaker Sashko Danylenko. He has created a collection of comic strips, each of them telling a six-page tale about the ill-fated duo – Cat and Bat. These two box-shaped friends always end up in a lot of trouble owing to the dogged pursuit of their weird ideas.
The pattern remains the same – Cat and Bat sit on a couch and watch TV. Something on the screen will trigger them to set off on a new stupid or dangerous adventure. Every journey starts off well. Later on, things inevitably take a turn for the worse. The mischievous cronies act impulsively. Speechless as they are (speech and dialogue balloons are utterly omitted here), their actions, nevertheless, expose the biggest problems facing humanity. For instance, Cat and Bat take home a monkey from the jungle. They teach the creature how to write, read, do math, and play guitar. One day the monkey transforms into a human being who, in return, chains Cat and encages Bat, and afterwards goes to church, happy and content with a job well done.
Another time the pair arrives on some distant planet where ‘locals’ take them for gods. Cat must return home to turn off an iron. He comes back to find Bat crucified, and the planet inhabitants worshiping the duet’s images as icons.
“Everything that irritates and enrages us in modern society is all inspiring for Cat’n’Bat. Social injustice, dirty politicians, racism, religious fanaticism, expensive education, extremism, and crazy expensive medical bills. Actually, it’s a bomb of dark humour in a kawaii wrap,” says Danylenko.

About the project
Sashko Danylenko’s wordless comic book has grown into a multimedia project entailing a game and shop selling charming branded items – T-shirts, mugs, bags, and more. In future, the author hopes to release animated videos about these two idiots. Cat’n’Bat has already found readers in New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, and Canada. Ukrainians can purchase it in any online store they have access to or directly on the site www.catnbat.com.

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