Book Review: Jonesy: Nine Lives on the Nostromo

I love cats, art, comic books, science fiction, film, Alfred Hitchcock, documentaries, illustration, photography, architecture, music,humor, and food television shows. I love it when two of my favorite things meet— such as cats and science fiction.

Over the years, I have had numerous conversations with friends regarding science fiction franchises. I have always favored Star Trek above all because of the extensive story of Starfleet via decades of films and television series. Cats have appeared on Star Trek, in two episodes of the original series (on the episode “Assignment: Earth” I loved that Isis the Cat broke through Spock’s cool logic) as well Data’s cat, Spot, on The Next Generation who appeared in several episodes (my favorite moment between them was in TNG’s first Film, Generations, when Data finds that Spot survived the ship’s brutal crash). I named one of my cats Seven after the character from Voyager.

My second favorite science fiction franchise is Alien. Yes, there have been several missteps since the second film, but I appreciate the various visions that have been brought to the overall story. Only one cat has made an appearance so far: Jonesy, the Nostromo cat.  He appeared in the first Alien film and its follow-up, Aliens. And let’s face it, he is the only cat the franchise will ever need because he had a ton of personality! I am not the only one who thought Jonesy was a personality—not long after I got on Facebook, I found a that Jonesy has a presence there! More recently, is the brilliantly graphic novel by illustrator Rory Lucey, Jonesy: Nine Lives on the Nostromo.

Jonesy is a graphic novel in the tradition of Sara Varon’s Robot Dreams, in that there is no dialog. The story is told from the point of view of Jonesy, so why would there be a need for words? The novel faithfully follows the first Alien film, but adds some details that we may not have seen in the film. For example, when the Nostromo crew is first awoken from their cryostasis sleep, Jonesy, in a bit of foreshadowing, gives Ripley a preview of the facehugger. Similarly, we see what Jonesy is doing while the crew is out investigating LV-426.

As scary as Alien is, this book is really funny—and it is because of Jonesy! Cats are funny and Lucey brilliantly captures that. My favorite moment is near the end of the book when Ripley is trying to eject the alien off the shuttle and Jonesy is in the cryostasis tube licking himself!

The illustrations are terrific and Lucey shows that he has lived with a cat (he dedicates the book to his wife Emily and his own orange feline, Caesar). He beautifully conveys with watercolors all the crazy and funny things cats do.

French author, Colette, once said, “There are no ordinary cats.” Lucey upholds this with his truly wonderful and entertaining book. A MUST for fans of the Alien franchise!

www.edwinroman.com

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