‘Maw’ # 1 walks a delicate line with a strong and proven voice

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Mouth appears to be a horror comic with roots in real horror and trauma: the horror and trauma of sexual assault.

As such, it’s a book that runs the risk of walking a very, very fine line. He lives in a sphere of a very delicate subject, which could be inundated with a whole sea of ​​trigger warnings because this sphere is a sphere in which, horribly, a alarming number people also live.


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Maw - Zooms and angles
BOOM! Studios

The problem starts with two sisters in a cab, dropping a whole bunch of lines with the cab driver regarding feminism – or, at least, an outdated form of spiritual-based feminism in which they are on their way to a retreat for. to commit. It’s a deeply relatable tone – what person under fifty doesn’t roll their eyes at the political weaknesses of previous generations? Because people’s rights and concerns are an ongoing and difficult battle, it’s hard to ignore the places where yesterday’s movements failed – if not really failed – in their causes.

Again, fine lines are scanned, but deftly: writer Jude Ellison S Doyle is, himself, a feminist writer who wrote whole books criticize low quality pop culture and socio-political thought. In these knowledgeable and thoughtful hands, the ironic eye roll is taken seriously.

Just as violence – which happens outside the panel, for those involved – is treated seriously, Marion, the dubious sister, experiences assault. In a flashback, the all-too-real concerns of a victim caught up in medical and legal consequences are presented clearly, miserably. It is often a hopeless struggle in a rigged game, and predators are often given the slightest slap on the wrist while the victim is mockingly bared.

When the assault darkens the doorway again, Marion refuses to be wrung out again by the overwhelming experience. This persistent and discouraged emotional turmoil prevented her from calling the police or going to the hospital. This is of course not recommended.

If this all sounds a bit too heavy and real for a Scary Funny Book, it’s because Doyle doesn’t quite exploit the supernatural horrors of the story in this first issue, instead preferring to anchor us in the sad horrors of reality. Supernatural turns are implied – this’ 70s retirement spirituality seems to have a darker, more violent center – but the inciting incident is made all the more emotional and the characters are more fleshed out in their experiences than your horror. mean cartoon.

While it’s a little too early to tell (it’s the first of five issues, after all), this heartbreaking and heavy loadout of the narrative looks like it will provide ballast to the violent and spooky action that goes from the front. The emotional stakes are incredibly high, which means if the resulting chaos and eventual resolution are properly matched, the final catharsis will be all the richer and more touching.

Primordial # 1
BOOM! Studios

Al Kaplan, who provides our art, uses a whole different bag of tricks to make the narrative look confusing. Staggered angles are presented, the comic book equivalent of Dutch angles and disconcerting close-ups. These are counterbalanced by interesting shots of remote settlement – a tree, a bar, the ocean from a cave – which set the book to the rhythm of an avant-garde cinematic sound poem, establishing a rich humanity and a cold atmospheric distance. This reflects the tragic distance with which society views sexual crime, a reality that is both unmistakably human and personal, yet clinically inhuman.

All this to say that, while Mouth walks that fine line, dealing with the untouchable real-life terror of sexual assault, he does it without flinching and with purpose. Doyle, with his solid pedigree as an existing voice in feminist thought, is expected to be the best person to tell a story like this; Kaplan’s visual close-ups and zooms are also expected to capture a unique and unbalanced report of events. This debut issue seems to back up those expectations, poignant and shaking without even touching on its major action. It’s a book to watch even if you want to look away.

Mouth # 1

‘Maw’ # 1 walks a delicate line with a strong and proven voice

Mouth # 1

Dealing with very real horror, Maw # 1 reveals the unwavering truth about sexual assault even before it comes close to supernatural horror.

Emotionally powerful.

Bold accounting.

Tricky ground for those who hesitate to fight against sexual violence.

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