Posted in Reviews

Review: One Cup at a Time: A Cat’s Café Collection by Matt Tarpley

One Cup at a Time: A Cat’s Café Collection by Matt Tarpley

Recommended: sure
for more cute comics, for building on established world and characters, for self-affirmation kind of comics as well as some that are just silly


A follow-up collection based on the popular webcomic Cat’s Cafe, One Cup at a Time immerses readers in the gentle, supportive world of cafe owner Cat and his adorable friends. With familiar faces like Penguin and Kiwi and new friends like Fox and Spider, this collection handles real issues like relationships, self-esteem, and mental health through a tender, positive lens. One Cup at a Time isn’t about forgetting your problems; it’s about supporting one another through those problems and loving each other and ourselves through it all.


The one issue I had with this collection was a few repeats from the end of the second collection. I was a little confused when I first started it about why they seemed familiar. Ultimately it’s not a big deal as many collections repeat from comics they’ve published in other places (ex social media or online profiles) but it seemed kind of odd to include them in both published versions.

Anyway, now that we know the characters from the first collection, this one was free to establish more of their backstory and current story. The vibe is very much the same, with a big focus on mental health and self-love. A few new characters are introduced, but the core ones remain (Cat, Rabbit, Penguin, etc). The new ones don’t tend to become “main” characters, but they are sometimes recurring or seen in the background.

While there’s not really a plot or story being told, the slice-of-life glimpses into each animal’s life and thoughts builds a story of it’s own. The community grows more diverse and complex with each addition to the town, which leads to some previously unseen interactions that made me smile.

And it did mostly make me smile. These comics are still more of a gentle kind, that read almost like self-affirmations that you might say aloud in the mirror each morning. If you’re having a tough moment, day, life, then these might be worth keeping around for another way to remind you that this too shall pass. If that sounds a bit too hokey for you, then you probably won’t like these comics as much. 😅


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

2 thoughts on “Review: One Cup at a Time: A Cat’s Café Collection by Matt Tarpley

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