Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artists: Kate Niemczyk & Rachelle Rosenburg
Please be advised that there has been a CAT ATTACK in your area.
Portland is suffering from a wave of big cat-related killings. When one of the cats strike, it is up to law enforcement to contain it within three to five days or risk waiting for another cycle. Unfortunately, these cats are actually puberty-aged girls, turning into cats during their periods.
Writer Chelsea Cain brings a tremendously feminist comic about the way society would react to scary little girls. Suddenly society is blocking ovulation, preventing girls from ever having a period. The comic book is patriarchy on steroids, where society deserves to protect itself from the problem rather than actually help girls. Cain has described the series as “Part Cat People, part The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is an apt description of the series.
The story is narrated from the point of view of a girl, who seems to live a normal life. She talks about her hobbies, her dad, and the society that she lives in. Cain writes the character, and all characters well, with natural dialogue throughout. The issue is fairly uneventful, but it trades progression for a thorough introduction, which is entertaining throughout.
There are many pop culture references throughout, with multiple of them taking jabs at United States politics (especially the White House). Through smart and witty humor, Cain establishes the interesting world successfully, while also making a strong statement. Through a wild concept, Cain has made a strong case for normalizing periods. Maneaters is smart and it doesn’t hide from what it believes in.
Kate Niemczyk’s art is charming and full of detail, despite the somewhat simple style that comes with it. One of the best parts of this issue is the number of easter-eggs throughout, including an appropriately placed Bitch Planet poster. Otherwise, the book’s artistic style is fun, with bold lines that make the calm scenes charming and the bloody scenes hectic. Rachelle Rosenburg’s palette makes Maneaters both vivid and bright, but also feel ominous and when it needs to. Throughout the issue, there is also a creative use of gutter space, with blood splatters and extended backgrounds accenting the panels.
Maneaters nails what it sets out to do, with an unapologetic feminist message. It’s smart, funny, and has solid writing throughout. With gorgeous art by Kate Niemczyk and Rachelle Rosenburg completing the package, Maneaters #1 is an easy recommendation.
Maneaters nails what it sets out to do, with an unapologetic feminist message. It's smart, funny, and has solid writing throughout. With gorgeous art by Kate Niemczyk and Rachelle Rosenburg completing the package, Maneaters #1 is an easy recommendation.