Our comic Thorsday today is all about Monstress: Awakening Volume 1. I went last week to Forbidden Planet, and although I was down because I couldn’t find a Newt Pop, I found a fantastic comic book. Monstress caught my eye because of the art style. For some reason, Japan popped out into my mind when I saw the cover. Then, after inspecting it further, I realized that in fact Sana Takeda, a Japanese, had made all the illustrations. Marjorie Liu is the writer. Published by Image Comics, this jewel is a great mix of Japanese and Western ideas. The art is beautiful, horrific and elegant, in the way many horror mangas are. The story is shocking but moving.
It’s beautiful, surprising and alluring. I usually don’t buy anything horror related, but the illustrations won me. I’ve read manga for many years, and I couldn’t stop myself from getting my hands on such a unique volume. Also, because it has talking cats. If you take a look at traditional Japanese prints, you’ll find tons of cats acting like humans. You also get beings that are human but have kitten or fox parts, like the ears and tails.
It has humor, but this comic is terrifying and quite violent. The monsters that appear in it are very Japanese, and somewhat make you feel uneasy. For starters, you begin wanting not to see those monsters. But then you find them beautiful, and you want to keep reading. And I think that’s the key point of Monstress: you can find beauty in horror.
Monstress lives in a world of magic and fear, of inhumanity and sheer exploitation. Humans aren’t just only humans: they all carry monsters within. This comic book makes you re-think what humanity is and what monsters we carry around. Ours might not be seen as the ones in the comic, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have any dark side!
If you’re a cat-lover, you’re going to enjoy this comic book a lot. Cats talk, fight and share wisdom. Casts are the children of Ubasti in the books and can be quite badass. There are also funny pages where you can find the teachings of Professor Tam Tam, a wise cat.
All in all this comic book is a jewel. This is not suitable for kids, but if you’re an adult, you’re going to enjoy it a lot. Beware: there’s lots of violence and funky monsters. The Japanese style of the art is as horrific, as elegant as beautiful. You cannot miss this one!
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