Writer & Artist: Gene Ha
Main Cover: Gene Ha
Variant Cover: Frank Cho
When I was a kid, I used to love any kind of story where a girl found her way to a magical land. I even tried to find my own way to Narnia, Oz, Wonderland, or any place that was a reasonable facsimile of them. Of course, I was never successful. Unlike me, Abbie, a girl of few friends, found a portal to a magical world. In this world she could see amazing things and have exciting adventures.
Now, here comes the neat twist. When Lucy went to Narnia, Dorothy went to Oz, and Alice went to Wonderland very little time passed and it was almost like they had never left. On the other hand, when Abbie went away, she’d be missing. At first it was for days, then weeks, and eventually she disappeared for seven years.
Now, Abbie is back. It seems things didn’t work out for her in the magical land, so she’s come home to her dad and younger sister.
Abbie’s younger sister, Mae, has been living a real world life and that life hasn’t been easy. She’s graduated high school, but hasn’t gone on to college. She was left behind to shoulder the burden of taking care of their sick dad and running the family business.
Mae isn’t thrilled to see her sister and isn’t ready to accept that Abbie was Queen of the nomadic tribes of the Mňoukové. However, it becomes hard for Mae to keep thinking her sister is lying when the magical world, or rather a resident of it, starts some trouble at the gas station.
This is a slightly more realistic take on the “kid finds a magical world” story. Though rather than exploring with the kid, we explore the consequences and fall out that such a tale would result in. After all, there’s no such thing as “Happily Ever After” in real life.
The world Gene Ha created is a beautiful balance. The world as Mae has seen it is our world, Doctor Who reference awesomely included. The fantasy world, of which Abbie becomes the embodiment, has a definite style that is quite different than our own. We don’t get the fantasy world just yet, but the hints and glimpses made me eager and excited for it. Ha’s art beautifully depicts it all.
He also does great at showing the toll Abbie’s disappearing has taken on the relationship between the sisters. Dahlia is Mae’s best friend and her presence helps contrast the large gap between the sisters. The strong friendship seems to whisper, “This is what you two could have been, if you had stuck around, Abbie.”
Does this sound like something you’d like? Then get it on your pull list now. Mae comes out May 18th.
I give Mae five out of five Mňoukové.