Writer: Chelsea Cain // Artist: Kate Niemczyk // IMAGE COMICS
Damn, That Tension
Once again Maneaters bust out the gate to give you that padded action. We continue our story from the ultimate cliff hanger — our protagonist got her period. It is only a matter of time till the panther rises but until then we wait. What I loved about Cain’s close attention to tension is that it serves as both the indicator for the period and impending disaster. Tension is an extremely important tactic because it reflects the emotion of a period-having person’s body. The hormonal imbalances, the body structure transformation; it reflects metaphorically within the body transforming into a man-eating cat and consistently waiting for the “moment” (period) to arrive.
This separation between her parents and consistently having to face the reality before her is beautiful and heartbreaking. This consistent dance between recognizing what is “togetherness” while your body feels like it’s splitting your perception on reality. In each situation of tension in which Maude is placed there is information that is either further hidden or brought to the surface. Whether it is fear, lying about using her father’s mustache tweezers to trim her pubic hairs or just self preservation. Maude feels the tension in both her uterus and the environment around her. It was a well executed text-to-emotion connection that Cain continues to reign supreme in.
Immaculate Tampon Display
I never thought that bright colors would make periods look so good. The way Niemczyk uses the bright palettes to contrast to the darkness being displayed? This has been giving me life panel after panel. The moments in which darkness is highlighted with brightness are the moments I enjoy the most. This aids to the tense progression in a different light. By presenting fear and anxiousness in bright colors it adds an extra shake because then problems catch you off-guard. It consistently feels like, when is the problem going to occur? Is there something happening now behind the scenes? This art brings to the table what the words didn’t have the power to say.
I appreciate the fact that this team knows the power that’s behind them and continuously capitalizes on it. What don’t we see when we talk about periods? Bright colors and sunshine. We often see it associated with pain, maturity, growing up, moodiness. Yes, let’s all talk about that and add a sarcastic pamphlet to go along with it to spruce it up.
Reading Maneaters? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here