Lawrence Scales shares the story of his chonky cat’s journey.
“A New Day Begins” by Lawrence Scales.
“A New Day Begins” is a horizontal black and white comic made up of eleven panels and four extra bold caption boxes. Panel one has a large caption over the top of it which reads the title “A New Day Begins” in all caps, and written in small text under that title is the author’s name, Lawrence Scales. The comic is hand drawn in black ink, and has thin, shaky lines with rounded panels and caption boxes.
The first panel, right below the title caption, is horizontal. A bald man in a scientist outfit points to a drawing of a cat on a whiteboard, which is covered with equations. The cat is round and the board says she is 17. 9 lbs. The man’s first speech bubble says, “When I adopted my cat she was very obese.” His second balloon, which comes from a second drawing of his face as it turns to look at the next panel, says, “My vet’s ideal weight for her to reach? 12 pounds. This was in March.”
The second panel is smaller, portrait style, and shows a calico cat jumping in the air, lifting a dumbbell and sweating. The cat wears a hand band. A speech balloon with an arrow for a tail points at the cat, and says, “Our journey began with more physical activity…”
The third panel is small and horizontal. Another balloon on the bottom right hand side, with an arrow for a tail, points to the image inside; two types of cat food, dry on the left, wet on the right, with the dry labeled yuck and the wet labeled yum. This balloon says “Better food….”
Panel four is right below this panel, same size and shape, with another arrow tailed balloon on the bottom left hand side of the panel pointing at the image inside. This panel shows a cat water fountain and a dish of cat food with a sink faucet pouring water into it. The words “cat fountain” are written in smaller text above the fountain, with an arrow pointing towards it, while the image of the dish is labeled “adding H20.” The balloon underneath the panel says “More water!”
Panel five is a square with a large, bold caption box on top. The caption reads “But I worried…” and the panel shows the cat curled up on top of a box, while her owner, peering out from the right side of the panel below, shows her to a friend on a video phone call. The friend on the phone says, “Wow, that is a big cat!” The owner says “ikr…”
Panel six begins the second row of panels. This shows the man at the whiteboard again. There are two drawings of the cat sitting down, seen from behind, on the white board. The drawing on the left has the cat’s neck circled, with the text “more neck?” written next to it. The owner looks like he is thinking, and his balloon says, “She didn’t look any different to me…”
The seventh panel has another bold caption box over it. The caption reads, “Was our hard work paying off?” A smaller caption box with no bold outline reads “On an unrelated vet visit, I got my answer,” and the panel shows the bald man walking up to a vet’s office with a cat carrier.
Panels eight and nine are small stacked horizontal panels, showing the cat being picked up by a vet tech in the first one and then dropped on a scale in the second panel.
Panel ten and its caption are like a sideways exclamation point. The tenth panel is rectangular and all black, with white numbers written on it. “12. 54” The small caption box next to it, a little square, says “Twelve point five!”
The final panel of the comic is below this one. It shows the man in a party hat, on the left, jumping up and dancing next to his cat, on the right, who also wears a small party hat and blows a party horn. There are balloons floating up next to them and confetti. The man’s speech balloon says, “We did it!” and the square caption on the bottom right hand side of the panel reads “STATUS: overweight NOT obese!” The final bold caption box on the bottom of the panel, below this caption box, reads, “And so, the journey continues.”