‘Breaking Cat News’ debuts in E-N today

Forget about newshounds. Georgia Dunn likes her story sniff of the cat species. And the closer these intrepid cats are to home, the better.

Dunn brings this anthropomorphic gonzo journalism to life in her webcomic “Breaking Cat News”. The comic breaks into Express-News and around 100 other newspapers starting today via Andrews McMeel Syndication. The comic runs seven days a week in the Express News.

Under the premise that “cats report the news that is important to cats”, “Breaking Cat News” unfolds like a kitty cable news program with its own ball of yarn logo and the occasional scrolling news ticker, while the correspondents with the beard trying to get the big bullet for CN news.

Dunn writes and draws the whimsical stripe based on her own cats Elvis, Lupine and Puck. Because, as any good reporter knows, the best stories usually come straight from the source.

“It’s actually pretty easy for me to write, to a degree, because as silly as it sounds, I’m just imagining what the cats would actually say, even under the circumstances,” Dunn said. “Which makes me sound like a crazy person, but that’s how it works.”

Lupine serves as the main anchor on the Strip, a fluffy white adventurer who longs to step off the on-air news desk for more on-site action. The kitten usually turns to the two CN field reporters – Elvis, the biased and jaded Siamese who hates change, and Puck, the sensitive but staunch black cat who seeks the most objective story.

These stories cover the myriad moments cat owners know too well. The irresistible charm of fresh bacon and hot, belly-warming pizza boxes. The strange case of the laser pointer point and the new bag of nibbles. And of course the best place to curl up when people are sleeping. (Right above it, of course.)

These people in the Strip are also close to Dunn’s heart. “The People”, as the CN cats call them, are the woman, the man, the toddler and the baby – also known as Dunn, her husband Ryan Faillace and their 3 year old son Luke and their 1 year old daughter Guinevere, who all live in the Seattle area.

“When the comic started, I only made it for friends and family,” said Dunn. “And so it only made sense to have us in it.”

Dunn got the idea for Breaking Cat News in March 2014 when Lupine was throwing everything off the shelf at Dunn and Faillace’s previous home in Covington, Washington, south of Seattle.

Elvis and Puck ran to the scene and meowed as Dunn and Faillace cleaned up. Dunn jokingly offered the cats their own “die-hard reporter voices”, which sparked a few tweets and a drawn comic the next day. Friends and family made it.

The shared laughs and likes inspired Dunn to illustrate the Zingers, which led to the online comic on his original website Breakingcatnews.com that same March.

The flick soon found its share of love on Reddit, then syndicated online at GoComics.com in October 2014, and finally its first book last year at Andrews McMeel Publishing.

“I’ve been a huge fan of the Strip and have followed it closely since it went online,” Shena Wolf, editor of acquisitions for Andrews McMeel Syndication, said via email. “The art and humor were always on point, and it was a very inspiring process to be able to work with Georgia to get it syndicated. I am delighted that Andrews McMeel is the company that is bringing this strip to newspapers and a wider readership. “

Despite its online origins, “Breaking Cat News” is surprisingly analog. Dunn makes all of her strips on paper using ink and watercolors. (“I’m rubbish with computers,” she said.) Newspaper readers will see these watercolors in all their glory on Sundays. Most newspapers carry the weekday and Saturday strips in black and white ink.

Indeed, seeing “Breaking Cat News” in newspapers is kind of homecoming for Dunn.

The native Rhode Islander spent much of her childhood in and outside of the newsroom. Her father was a newspaper photographer in Rhode Island for nearly 30 years. And she went to the University of Rhode Island on a journalism writing scholarship before switching majors with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2004.

“So if I (my cartoon cats) stick to journalistic integrity, I have a few lessons behind me,” said Dunn.

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