Writer/Creator: Chelsea Cain
Pencils & Inks: Kate Niemczyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Man-Eaters is a comic which plays around with the format in order to tell its story. It does a surprising amount of this with information leaflets. Each of these leaflets is densely packed with jokes, so it is definitely worth reading the small print. As mentioned in my review of the first issue of Man-Eaters, I always prefer a comic that uses the medium to its fullest extent. There are more ways to tell a story than just showing the action in the panel. Man-Eaters is definitely an example of this with clever vignettes and reveals to introduce us to characters and do the necessary exposition work.
The plot of Man-Eaters, where menstruation is closely linked to a disease that turns women into killer cats, heightens the normal discourse around periods. First periods are scary and complicated. Having to learn how to insert a tampon, fearing everyone can tell you are on your period, and the worry of having to tell your parents are always present, but in Man-Eaters these are all framed in the context of a constant threat.
The fact that her dad is a homicide detective for murders committed by women infected by the killer cat bacteria, makes it tricky for Maude to confide in him about her current situation. In this issue we are also introduced to Maude’s mother. It is immediately clear that she is equally unable to make Maude feel more comfortable about her first period.
The flip-side of using so much real estate on leaflets and other literature, is that there is limited space to move the story forward. In this issue we learn a few new tidbits, but the characters repeat in large strokes what they did in the first issue. I’m looking forward for the story to get going, as I think this comic has all the potential to be a great satirical piece as well as a great story.
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