Writer/Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Believe the hype. After Unnatural‘s stunning debut last month, I was anxious to continue reading Mirka Andolfo’s new creation. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. Within two weeks of its release, the comic was fast-tracked for a second printing. I would account the comic’s success to its relevance in today’s political world, its simple and relatable storyline, and its amazing artwork.
There are so many things I could commend Andolfo on in this issue. As much as I love her piglet protagonist Leslie, I like seeing how New Roark’s strict laws have affected other citizens, too. Yes, I’m anxious about what will happen to Leslie, but I also trust Andolfo wholeheartedly and am willing to be patient.
Issue #2 opens in a courtroom where two animals are being tried for their “unnatural” behavior. Just like in the political atmosphere today, both sides of the issue have plenty of support. Many citizens are disrespectful and intolerant of the animals’ aberrant acts, clearly supportive of the laws restricting these “indecencies”. Just as many are on the defendants’ side, claiming the opposing laws are outdated. The courtroom is also the first time we see the heavy effects of lawbreaking. The consequences include jail time as well as rehabilitation.
While we don’t spend much time with Leslie in this issue, we do see more of her roommate Trish. Trish is a supportive friend but a rule follower nonetheless. Trish and Leslie are genuine and honest with one another, which is evident in the dialogue and art of Unnatural. Slightly younger than Leslie and just as bold with her looks, she’s the best friend everyone wishes they had. While she doesn’t think Leslie is immoral, she also believes in the government program, providing a sound argument as to why it’s positive. I love Trish for this reason. She knows Leslie is dreading this process, and instead of letting her wallow, she encourages her to make the best of it and see the glass as half full. This characterization is smart on Andolfo’s part and opens her up to do more complex things within the plot.
Through a flashback of Leslie’s childhood, we learn that “unnatural” relationships are nothing new. No surprise. Whether readers relate this to the recent allowance of gay marriage or the eventual acceptance of interracial marriage, it’s clearly a subject we’ve been dying to read about. Not only is it relatable because of recent political changes and how many people have been affected by previous laws, but it also allows new commentary on the relationship between morality and law. What is right and wrong versus what is legal will always be up for debate, and for that reason, Unnatural will always be relevant.
What is right and wrong versus what is legal will always be up for debate, and for that reason, Unnatural will always be relevant.