Unnatural #1

Written by Mirka Andolfo
Art by Mirka Andolfo
Colors by Mirka Andolfo with the assistance of Gianluca Papi
Letters by Fabio Amelia

In a world full of anthropomorphic creatures, Unnatural tells a story that is unfortunately too familiar in every day society, ruled by a government that punishes anything deemed “unnatural”.

Same sex relationships, and relationships between animals of different species are illegal, and to make it all work, the government uses the Reproduction Program to help citizens follow the Natural law. Leslie is your average normal every day pig girl. Tolerates her job for the paycheck, loves sushi, dreams of an illegal relationship with a wolf, all while being best friends with Derek, a gay goat who is in an illegal relationship himself with a pig. Life is definitely complicated for Leslie, and to make mattes worse, the government has now put her into the Reproduction Program in order to have her marry correctly into the same species.

First released in Italy under the title, Contro Natura. Mirka Andolfo really surprised me with this book. This is not your average anthropomorphic comic book, and it is intended for mature readers. Leslie’s very visual dreams of her illegal affair made for a hard argument on if it was natural at all, even though you would want it to be because of how constricted the government is on what they think is love. The tone of the book itself was very grey, looming, but there was some relatable humor with Leslie’s friends Derek and Trish. Andolfo’s art was great throughout the book. The transitions to Leslie’s dreams and the mini commercial for the “love app” were entertaining and were clearly different mediums to help readers understand what was going on.

With a title like Unnatural I couldn’t help but notice how natural the similarities of politics were in this book. It is still unclear if that is ultimately Andolfo’s endgame: to show a life lesson or just tell a great story that we can relate to.

9/10 by Clayton Hinjosa

Chances are that if you have been reading comics, there’s a strong possibility you may have heard of Mirka Andolfo.  She’s an artist that has been on some big titles such as Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, but she is a talented writer as well. The first issue of Unnatural proves that we need more stories from her, and that her storytelling is rooted in the everyday life.

One can’t help but fall in love with Leslie after reading this issue. She’s sweet, adorable, caring, and just wants to find the man of her dreams. She knows exactly what man she wants, it’s this dreamy wolf, and Leslie is a pig by the way. The only problem is that Leslie and the man of her dreams are prohibited from being together because it is against the law. Not only can she not be with someone outside of her species, she will be matched up with someone of her same species as soon as she turns 25, and she just recently turned 25. All she wants is to be live her life full of sushi, happiness, and her dream wolf, but alas it may not be destined to be.

Leslie only wants the simple things in life, but the law is making it difficult to do so. Not only do the laws prevent the mixing of species, it also prohibits same sex marriage as well. The story Mirka Andolfo is crafting isn’t too far-fetched because gay marriage just recently became legal in the US, and interracial marriage is still a relatively new law as well. Gay marriage was legalized in 2015 and interracial marriage was legalized in 1967, but just because they’re legal doesn’t make life any easier. And with the recent departure of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, gay marriage may not be legal for too much longer.  Mirka Andolfo did a magnificent job of examining something as simple as love and letting the reader know how complicated it can be especially when the law says that the love you want is illegal.

Mirka Andolfo is already known for her work as an artist, and she does a great job in this first issue. Her character designs of all the anthropomorphic animals are just exquisite. The dream sequences that Leslie has with her dream wolf are graphic but sensual and erotic. The passion that Leslie has for her dream wolf just sweats off the pages and lets the reader know how badly she wants him. The propaganda commercial that Andolfo draws is so adorable and cheerful, but also conveys the serious message it’s trying to get across. The colors in this book are so bright and energetic and bring everything to life.

This series was originally published in 2016 in Italy and is now being translated for the first time in English.  It contains twelve issues and I am eagerly awaiting to see what the other eleven issues have in store. This comic is making its English debut at the perfect time because of all the turmoil that this country is currently enduring, and a book like this is exactly what people need to be reading. It’s bright, colorful, and meaningful.  Love is something that most of us want but can remain out of our grasp whether it be because of laws or just the mindset some people have. Maybe Unnatural can show us that love can be something that we all can obtain or maybe not, but I want to wait and see if does.

9/10 by Pierre Arnette

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