Guest Writer: Stonie Williams
Writer/Artist – Mirka Andolfo
Letters – Fabio Amelia/Arancia Studios
Colors – Mirka Andolfo/Gianluca Papi/Arancia Studios
This article made possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
Unnatural from Image Comics by Mirka Andolfo is a romantic comedy mystery drama set in an anthropomorphized world. The main character, Leslie, is a pig trying to navigate through life. She faces a few hurdles. Her overbearing and creepy boss commenting on her body type and weight. Being a single girl in a world where procreating is pushed by the government and fraternizing outside of your species, or even with the same gender inside your species, is a punishable offense.
We pick up with Leslie turning 25. After 25 you can be included in what’s called the Reproduction Program. A government run program where you’re matched with another person in order to procreate.
Unnatural features some great characters. Leslie’s roommate Trish, a mouse. Her pet lizard-thing, Pif, her co-worker Derek, who is not only gay but his significant other is another pig. Derek’s got the double-whammy. Mr. Hans is their crocodile boss, the character everyone will love to hate.
But Leslie’s biggest distraction right now is her dreams. Leslie dreams of a big hunky wolf. Her dreams are of the NSFW variety, and the compromising positions her roommate finds her in as she dreams and day-dreams of her furred lover are giggle-inducing.
As one might surmise, Unnatural has an erotic component to the story that elevates the story to a mature reader level. Andolfo gives us beautiful, sexy, engaging artwork. Her characters tick all the boxes, expressive, unique voices with attitudes and styles that you come across even without the words. She’s another artist that takes up the job of the writer as well, as does a masterful job of it. Juggling both sounds like a daunting task, but Andolfo’s art and story complement each other. While there is a bit of the erotic, almost cheesecake, element to it, the story stands on its own. Exploring social issues under than anthropomorphic guise gives the cartoony world the gravitas that pulls it all together.
The colors are magnificent, giving life to the world. The lettering is great, adding mood to each scene. Amelia and Papi with Arancia Studios are to be applauded for their contribution to this fantastic book.
Originally an Italian book with Panini Comics, Image brought Unnatural to the states after many fans clamoring for an English version of the book.
While not recommended for children, Unnatural is a joy to read. The characters are fun and engaging, the first issue hints at a much larger plot afoot, and Leslie is a character that you become immediately invested in. Her hopes and dreams (figurative and literal) and her problems are all something you want to explore. Issue 1 left me salivating for the next issue. This series hints at being more than an erotic rom-com and readers will be surprised by just how deep the story gets.
You can follow Mirka Andolfo on Twitter @Mirkand and on Instagram @mirkand89. Until next time, happy reading!