“Caged In but Outside the Box” – by Chloe Spencer

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Caged In but Outside the Box: A Review of My Cage – by Chloe Spencer

 

What do you get when you cross Dilbert with animals? Some people might say My Cage, a comic written by Ed Power and drawn by Melissa DeJesus. The running joke of My Cage is that it is basically Dilbert but with animals. My Cage, with its witty writing and quirky art style, challenges what a simple comic strip can do.

My Cage focuses on the life of a 20-something platypus named Norm. Norm is an aspiring writer that is stuck in a dead-end job at a soul crushing company known as McGuffin Inc. Norm has a few friends in his life: his hippie girlfriend Bridget Dog, the snarky Ashley Bengal, the imbecilic Jeffrey Shark, and money-loving Maureen, that accompany him throughout the story.

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Like Dilbert, their day to day lives are relatively mundane, focusing on menial tasks around the office and workplace romances. The series utilizes a sarcastic, snappy sense of comedy that is familiar to many comic readers.

However, My Cage descends into deeper territory many times. Many of the characters question their directions in life and the decisions that they have made—they break up, they fall apart, and then they find ways to piece themselves together. For example, Norm copes with the loss of his mother while Jeff struggles through a divorce and his new reality as a single dad. This is where My Cage finds its sense of identity and separates itself from the typical comic strip.

My Cage is an ideal read for young adults because of its relatable nature, and the way it is able to connect with its readers through the characters. Though its original run ended syndication in 2010, encouraging fans inspired the original creators to start a sequel strip.

If you’re interested in reading My Cage, the original series is currently re-running on Go Comics, and the new series, which picks up immediately after the end of the first series, is updated on Patreon twice a week.

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