Creator: Sas Milledge / Boom! Studios
Mamo #2 picks up the moment after the first issue ended with an absolutely full page spread that shows Jo and Orla capturing the errant entity that was abiding in Jo’s home. And that spread alone already captured my heart, and that’s before Sas Milledge delved deeper into the backstories and showcased even more of the mechanics of the magic in the world.
With the inciting incident that brought the duo together resolved, Jo and Orla are not quite down in the coming-of-age endeavors, because there are still various questions about what cause the malevolent spirit to take roost in the first place. All the while, the two continue developing an uneasy friendship. The extended length compared to a standard comic gives Milledge ample opportunity to concoct several scenes that showcase their dynamics perfectly. Jo is thankful for Orla’s aid, but Orla (the granddaughter of the Witch of Haresden) is still worried that her witchcraft roots and practicing of magic put her odds with the rest of the coastal town’s residents. It’s heartwarming to see these kids being awkward kids, trying to navigate a new friendship, and uncover various secrets about the town.
Milledge has an incredible knack for creating both an idyllic countryside town pastoral and various magical entities ranging from salamanders (of the borne-of-fire variety) to a very mercurial black cat. In many ways, it feels adjacent to Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. The world of Mamo very convincingly paints a portrait of a world where magic is a known, but feared, part of the reality and the tempered pace allows us to live and breathe that magic in naturally.
It’s a very story that young, voracious readers will devour because of the inviting art and childlike syntax. Mamo #2 is double the length of your typical comic but feels like a breeze to read because the structure makes it easy to track and follow. There is a very deliberate relation between the action on the page, and the exposition in dialog bubbles. Milledge knows the precise amount of words to fill a panel and makes the entire experience a poetic jaunt. This issue has me very excited for whatever happens next.
9.5 “Eggs” out of 10
Enjoying Mamo? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.