Man-Eaters by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, and Rachelle Rosenberg is a brand new satirical comic that deftly discusses important issues like the dangers of patriarchy and misogyny while creating a world and mythology that draws the reader in.
Written by: Chelsea Cain
Art by: Kate Niemczyk
Colors by: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by: Joe Caramagna
Cover by: Lia Miternique
Published by: Image Comics
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.
It’s a tricky thing to try and discuss current events and politics in comics, especially in these ‘Comicgate’ days where it seems that everybody has a very polarizing opinion on just about any subject. The best way to do it is by just telling a good story and letting the themes come naturally. This is exactly what Chelsea Cain has done with Man-Eaters. She is telling a great story and creating a rich world, yet there is no doubt that Cain is trying to address some very important issues she just lets the story do the work.
It’s the story itself as a direct attack on not only the dangers of a patriarchal society but of the casual misogyny many people express and not even be astute enough to be aware of; just check out the scene where a mother pulls a gun on her daughter because she’s afraid of what her daughter might turn into. It’s played subtlety but it’s deeply chilling. The reader isn’t hit over the head nor does this feel like a lecture the storytelling is excellent and entertaining the characters are relatable and quite funny; having the main character, Maude, address the reader directly is an excellent touch that bonds you with her immediately. Maude feels real from the get-go and is an excellent guide into this new world.
The art team of Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagnain is incredible. The influences on it range from anime/manga to indie comics masters like Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan/ACME Novelty Library), and more traditional comics. Small details like blood splatters on panel gutters and pages without panel borders create a very unique narrative flow and stylized look. There’s also a great use of full pages that aren’t necessarily ‘splash pages ‘in the traditional sense. When you throw in the inventive use of infographic, fliers, and mixed media it really becomes a very visually arresting book and the images pop off the page.
There’s no doubt that many Man-Eaters is an ‘important’ book but it’s also a just a very good comic. Yes, it addresses issues that are important, but it also gives you a satisfying, entertaining and readable experience. If you are looking to get some ideas and opinions across that is exactly the way to do it.