On the day of British publisher Shortbox’s sixth year of existence, Zainab Akhtar announced and launched the Kickstarter for the company’s first original graphic novel – Genie Liang’s A Cat’s Day.

Akhtar delivered the announcement via social media,

The synopsis,

“’There’s nothing Sam would love more than to have more time: time to spend eating delicious food at her gran’s, time to play around with her cheeky younger brother and their cat, Tangy – maybe even time to actually have hobbies! But getting in the way of time is WORK. It’s not that Sam doesn’t like her job, but it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Could the answer to this conundrum lie in a time-travelling diary bestowed to her by a mysterious, magical feline who doesn’t seem in the least bit suspicious at all…?’”

Genie Liang is a freelance Toronto-based artist who has previously worked as a production artist and art director for mobile games. Liang has produced risograph prints, minicomics, sketchbooks and zines thus far and A Cat’s Day appears to be her first longer form work.

The Kickstarter allows you to order the book in digital (£9/~$11)) or physical editions (£15/~$19) – or both together (£22/~$27).

Akhtar previously announced that – for practical and logistical reasons – Shortbox would end its previous model of curated batches of mini-comics and graphic novellas in favour of longer works in July 2021. Saying,

Essentially, we’ve come to a point where growing costs mean we need to adjust the price of a box, and growing shipping costs mean we also need to charge accordingly for shipping. Sadly, I think this makes the box model no longer viable…The idea of ShortBox is that people trust that they’re going to get a selection of comic books that are of value to them in some way. I think the more you start paying for something, the greater the expectation of receiving ‘sure things’ – work that fits what a person wants more closely. It becomes less of a space for interesting, inventive, fresh work. My instinct is that with the rising costs, people would prefer to choose individual books they want.

The last traditional model (and previous Kickstarter project) Shortbox was #13, which shipped in October 2021.

In the meantime,Akhtar announced “We’ve started posting the 8-page comics that were exclusive to the ShortBox Patreon on both our Twitter and Instagram. Sharing these weekly: you can already read ‘Stone Fruit’ by Sophia Foster-Dimino, and GL, HF’ by Daniel Zhou, with lots more brilliant stuff to come.”

The monthlong Shortbox Digital Comics Fair will also be taking place later this year, in October.

Here is a preview of the book to whet your appetite: