Fat Freddy's Cat
While the Cat is usually featured in a small 'topper' strip below a Freak Brothers strip, he has had independent appearances and storylines of his own.
Fat Freddy's Cat first appeared in 1969 in underground newspapers as a character in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers strip. He soon gained his own small spin-off topper strip, in imitation of the early Krazy Kat strips below The Family Upstairs by George Herriman. Some full-size stories also featured Fat Freddy's Cat.
Many of these strips have been collected in comic book form by Rip Off Comix in a series of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers compilations and later The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat, which ran for four small size issues in the 1970s. Fat Freddy's Comics and Stories (one shot, 1983) also included several stories about the Cat.
The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat were reprinted and expanded (starting over from #1) in six comic book size issues in the 1980s. They included new longer stories about the Cat. A seventh edition was released (in the US only) in 1993. After the demise of the underground newspaper, the Cat continued to appear in various comic books. His last appearance to date was in a 1990 strip reprinted in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #12.
The Cat is much smarter than Freddy, and while sharing many of his preoccupations such as drugs, food, sleep and sex, his stories also feature a fair amount of defecation. Like Garfield (whom he predates) he is laid back, but in his personal habits and outlook he is more like the Freak Brothers. However he tends to regard the Freak Brothers with amused contempt, frequently expressed by defecating in inappropriate and inconvenient places, such as stereo headphones.
Like Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes he has a fertile imagination. He is apt to tell tall stories to his three "nephews". One storyline features him playing the role of "F. Frederick Skitty", an undercover agent sworn to stop the distribution of "Tee Hee Hee", a drug that turns people into homosexuals. Another story involves a scheme by Fat Freddy to replicate Dick Whittington's success and sell the Cat to the (fictional) small, oil-rich nation of Pootweet to deal with mice.
Cat stories longer than one page
There have been more than a hundred small comic strips about the Cat, most of which have been reprinted in various formats. But there have only been eight stories longer than one page:
- I Led Nine Lives! (5 pages) (Adventures of ... #1)
- Untitled (2 pages) (Adventures of ... #1)
- Chariot of the Globs (6 pages) (Adventures of ... #2)
- Animal Camp (13 pages) (Adventures of ... #3)
- The Burning of Hollywood (6 pages) (Adventures of ... #4, in color in Thoroughly Ripped)
- The Sacred Sands of Pootweet (9 pages) (Adventures of ... #5)
- The War of the Cockroaches (27 pages) (Adventures of ... #6)
- Paradise Revisited (7 pages) (Fat Freddy's Comics & Stories #1)
The Cat also appears as a key character in:
- Frederick the Duck (3 pages) (Fat Freddy's Comics & Stories #1)
- The Collected Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat and his Friends (1976)
- The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat Book 1 (1977)
- The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat Book 2
- The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat Book 3
- The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat Book 4 (1978)
- The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat Book 5 (1980)
- The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat (1977) ISBN 0-8296-0054-X, UK edition 1978 (reprints the four small Adventures of ... " comix except for 4 strips from #2 and 1 strip from #3.)
- More Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat (1981) ISBN 0-89620-057-4 (reprints 91 one page strips.)
- The Fat Freddy's Cat Omnibus (2009) ISBN 0-86166161-3 (reprints The Adventures of Fat Freddy's Cat #1-7, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #1-6)
The New Zealand band Fat Freddy's Drop, whose debut album won the 2005 Gilles Peterson Worldwide Winners Award, were named after the comic. The band's debut single had been recorded under the influence of LSD blotters that had been printed with images of Fat Freddy's Cat on them, and the band liked the name.
- Lezard, Nicholas, Review: The Complete Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, vol 1, The Guardian, 8 December 2001
- Plowright, Frank, The Slings and Arrows Comic Guide Slings & Arrows, 2003 ISBN 0-9544589-0-7, ISBN 978-0-9544589-0-4 p. 236
- BBC: Fat Freddy's Drop
- Sydney Morning Herald: Fat Freddy's Drop: Gig Reviews