I’m going to be all silly and geek out a bit, but it’s been several months since the last issue of what is my currently favorite comic/graphic novel, Monstress and now a digital copy of the new issue showed up in my account last night. I have only really liked a few graphic novels to come out since the demise of Sandman, but Monstress is one of those that is perhaps my favorite since that time (which Locke and Key a close second).
I couldn’t quite tell you exactly what is so compelling for me about the series. I love the art, the adult themes, the grimdark nature of the story. I love the milieu, kind of a steam-punk-not-steam-punk, Asian-not-Asian, Sengoku-not-Sengoku, fairy-not-fairy with a touch of eldritch and body horror to add some spice.
The official description:
A teenage girl struggles to overcome the trauma of war in an alternate, matriarchal 1900s Asia that’s brimming with arcane dangers. This task is made all the more difficult by her mysterious psychic link to an eldritch monster of tremendous power—a connection that will transform them both, and place them in the crosshairs of both human and otherworldly powers.
I have a soft-spot for complex female protagonists that you really don’t want to mess with if you value your life (e.g. she’ll kick your ass and, just to add insult to injury, eat you with her elder-god-arm). But I also have a thing for the protagonist in this two-issue interlude between story arcs: Kippa, a kind of fox/human hybrid featured in the first image I posted.
For a while there, I considered writing something along this vein. And even my abandoned NaNoWriMo, in afterthought, was probably heavily influenced by this series — though I didn’t consciously know it until just now.