COFFEE AND DONUTS sounds like a very bad title for a comic book, but when I read it, I realized what a perfect fit the name was. In this world of funny animals, two cats, the talkative Dwight and his silent partner (like Silent Bob), Jules, live in a dumpster in an unforgiving (and unnamed) city. These stray cats are barely making it. The one other good thing in their lives, besides the dumpster, is that every morning someone leaves two cups of coffee and a bag of donuts on the dumpster for them. But desperation sees them plan an armored car stick up that they botch rather badly. Of course, two small-time mobsters witness their ill-fated robbery and blackmail Dwight and Jules into doing something else awful.
Max Estes burst onto the scene with a marvelous little graphic novella entitled, Hello Again. In Coffee and Donuts, he continues to show his ability to create unique comic narratives. He holds his panels to no more than two a page, but he creates a distinctive rhythm that rapidly carries the reader through the story. It creates a reverse flipbook effect, but it also makes for good slapstick comedy.
Good comedy can come from a character or characters looking for a home, food, and a job. In that, Dwight and Jules are like The Three Stooges, some of Charlie Chaplin’s characters, or many other down-on-their-luck Moe’s looking for that elusive break in life. With two characters like these, Coffee and Donuts and its creator, Max Estes, are like nothing else in comics.