The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out, by A. Koford

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I just got a copy of The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out, by A. Koford.

Does A. stand for Adam (our cartoonist pal also known as Ape Lad) or Aloysius (Adam's bon vivant great-grandfather)? We'll never know. It doesn't really matter. The important thing about these 150 one-panel gags, featuring a pair of wise-foolish felines, is how terrific they are, both in their warm, scorn-free humor, and in their evidence of masterful craftsmanship. The composition, spotting, and line-work would make Hank Ketcham nod in approval.

Mister Koford and his greatest fan, one John Hodgman, signed my copy of the book, and on the title page Mr. Koford also drew a cute sketch of Jackhammer Jill doing what she loves to do best. The back of the book contains another sketch of Jill, along with a thanks to all happy mutant everywhere.

I'm suffering from a head cold today, and I'm looking forward to getting into bed and reading this with my kids. Thanks Adam. You and your great-gradfather are wonderful!

The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out


  1. The real cats with photos are funny (, but Apelad’s drawings are painfully bland and unfunny.

    Apelad’s a talented artist, but the humor and appeal of LOL cats is seeing the crazy expressions and settings of real cats which don’t translate well into a simplified garfield-esque style.

    But, this will come as heresy for BB and BB/Apelad fanbois so I’ll just go ahead and put on my flame suit now.

  2. @#2: I have to agree. I’m not knocking the artist’s abilities, but I just don’t know what the appeal of these illustrations is supposed to be. I think the problem is that true LOLcats pictures anthropomorphize real cats via their subtitles, while these illustrations combine the same style of subtitles with stylized drawings of anthropomorphic cats. The latter approach seems to be forcing two disparate concepts together that don’t mesh well and just end up feeling forced as a result.

  3. There’s no need to don a flame suit, Killer_Robot. Your critique is thoughtful and polite. I do disagree with you, though. I find Adam’s work here to be charming, and a nice re-interpretation of the LOLcats memes. To each his own, as the saying goes.

  4. Yes, but Adam isn’t simply illustrating cat macros outright and ad naseum, he is providing an illusory provenance for seemingly inexplicable “non-sense” humor, linking it back to early comic strips such as Krazy Kat–the “original” original LOLcat. In doing so, he often injects wit and nostalgia into the so-modern-it’s-instantly-ephemeral nature of contemporary hyperculture.

    Observing the similarities between Herriman’s ungrammatical, playful, and idiosyncratic language and Internet memes gone wild does have its fascinations. But Adam is also punning, recontextualizing, and ironically appropriating the gleeful stupidity of oh-so-many tired ‘net jokes. It’s playful and earnest and often brilliant, but you have to meet it on it’s own terms, and it’s definitely not for everyone.

  5. @Killer Robot- If you think Koford’s Kats are just drawings of those other lol cats, you aren’t paying close enough attention. Also, hey! I’m a Foundling & an owner of an original strip! I got thanked! Yay!

  6. That first cartoon of Jackhammer Jill is so cute. Is it part of the book, or did Apelad draw it especially for you?

  7. Killer Robot is wrong.

    I got this book last week and haven’t stopped laughing out loud since. On a bad day I often return to Kitteh and Pip for a pip-me-up.

    BUY IT. Make A. Koford the rich man he deserves to be!

  8. I find Laugh-Out-Loud Cats funny, because I know all the LOLcat memes. I’m sure if you weren’t intimately familiar with invisible, eated it, a money, kthxbai, your brain wouldn’t get that frisson of double meme activation.

    I’d buy the book on the Kindle ;)

    And about the ad thing: BoingBoing makes money when you buy something from Amazon via a BoingBoing link. It’s not like BB is shoving a “BUY THIS THING!” in your face with no context. The bloggers genuinely think this is an interesting thing, and if you do too, then BB makes some scratch. I think that’s ok.


  9. Todd Charske, I’m happy to inform you that you can have your account back on Monday. Have a good weekend, and do please think of some different things to say.

    Antinous: Good point. Well worth saying, even if I did, er, (cough) undercut it by removing the comment it referred to.

    Anonymous @6, good comment. Thank you.

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