Image Comics 2018
Created & Written by Chelsea Cain
Illustrated by Kate Niemczyk
Coloured by Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettered by Joe Caramagna
Additional Interior Art by Stella Greenvoss
A mutation in Toxoplasmosis causes menstruating women to turn into ferocious killer wildcats—easily provoked and extremely dangerous. As panic spreads and paranoia takes root, the fate of the world rides on the shoulders of one twelve-year-old girl. Part Cat People, part The Handmaid’s Tale, MAN-EATERS will have everyone talking.
Alright so I wasn’t sure I was going to read this but boy am I ever glad that I did. It is weird, quirky, entertaining and so outside the norm that you just can’t help yourself but like the damn thing. Thank god this is written by a woman or there would be an uproar in our current I want to find something to be offended by society. Still Chelsea is kind of brilliant and what she and her Ministry of Trouble bring us is nothing short of the next big thing!
The opening here is phenomenal that notice and then to see Maude and her cartoon well it was completely wrong and exceptionally good. As she narrates her life and that of her father who is a cop but she doesn’t think he’s traditionally good looking as she shows us who is. There is this almost immediate liking of Maude going on here and it’s not really explainable but it is just there. She could literally be any twelve year girl and the way she dresses and behaves well it’s has that verge of innocence meeting being grown up. Or at least her version of grown up for now and she’s pretty self sufficient in many ways as kids are when trying to find their independence.
The way that this is structured is fantastic. Chelsea creates this great ebb & flow through Maude’s narration as we learn what’s going on in this world. I find it incredibly interesting that the mutation in Toxoplasmosis is what sparks all this, if you have a compromised immune system cat litter could really be dangerous and taking that and tweaking the way Chelsea does not only makes it seem realistic but oddly enough also scientifically plausible. So yeah how we learn what’s going on is done in a way that not only introduces the series but sets this up in a way where you can lose yourself in the story.
Kate and Rachelle do some spectacular work on the interiors here. The classic comic book style is there and we also get this other version of it that Rachelle’s colouring manages to make it look like either a flashback or just a faded poster. The manipulation of the varying weight of the linework is very well done and used to create chest hair to how we see that two page spread shows a lot of skill and talent on display. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a great eye for storytelling. I like how we see backgrounds being utilised to expand the moment, show us the bigger picture and give the story a sense of size and scope. Also the creativity and imagination on display is sensational. There are also these great moments that Rachelle gets to be creative in ways that pop and some of them in the most unexpected of places.
This is a hell of a lot of fun and I didn’t expect it to affect me the way it does. Also I am not going to lie when I kept looking at this I was singing Hall & Oats and I am okay with that they are great underrated duo. Take a walk on the wild side with this unusual and strikingly unique story that has excellent characterisation and interiors to match I promise you won’t be disappointed.