Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
“Black Cat Social Club” is a band of three songcasting witches – Alice, Hazel, and Maggie – who don’t have enough magic to pull maddening crowds to their gigs. Just when their road to fame looks like a dead-end, one of them makes a classic Faustian deal with a demon – she will give her soul in exchange of infernal power! But anybody who has read or seen anything about bargains with evil forces will know that things aren’t going to go as planned.
Created by Christopher Painter, Bob Quinn, Meg Casey and Fred C Stresing, “Black Cat Social Club” is a page-turner with colorful artwork reminiscent of revamped Archies’ comics and the story is a little like “Josie and the Pussycats” meets “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”. However, Alice, Hazel, and Maggie are not teenagers but rather independent individuals living in their own flat, with minimal interference from the older adults in their lives.
Alice takes on the role of the assertive band leader, while Hazel wears a distinctive pointy witch hat and battles with her own insecurities. Maggie, on the other hand, exudes optimism and serves as the enthusiastic cheerleader of the group. The demon who strikes a deal with the girls is Peter, whose character artwork bears an eerie resemblance to Hellboy. The realm of hell is a nice shiny corporate office in this graphic novel, with bosses, managers and minions in-charge of making humans go astray.
While one of the major themes of this comic is “corporate greed versus artistic freedom”, the magic-fantasy elements dilute the moral dilemmas of its protagonists and give readers a story that’s essentially entertaining with no serious takeaways. The graphic novel cover screams “A Pop Punk Apocalypse” under the title, but don’t go expecting any apocalypse like events, because that’s only a small sub-plot towards the end of the story. Overall, “Black Cat Social Club” was a quick fun read, with enjoyable artwork.
It’s a 4 on 5 from me.