Watch Out, Boy — She's A Man-eater
Jun 28, 2018
by Vince Brusio
Are you woke? Not to the Hall & Oates song. We mean the comic we’re referring to in this article’s title. If so, or if not, you will be woke after you read Chelsea Cain’s Man-eaters #1 (JUL180103) for Image Comics. The writer was kind enough to speak with us about her upcoming series, and let us know in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview that fans of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet don’t have far to go to see where the revolution takes them tomorrow.
Vince Brusio: What sparked the idea for this series?
Chelsea Cain: Man-eaters #1 (JUL180103 ) is a monster story about women who turn into ferocious killer wildcats when they get their periods. They are very scary and dangerous and extremely grumpy. Naturally their unprovoked attacks cause a great deal of societal consternation, and measures are taken to help the women control themselves. So…yeah, absolutely no idea where that idea came from…
Vince Brusio: Tell us about the main characters in Man-eaters. What makes them tick? What sets them off? What makes them warrant a comic series?
Chelsea Cain: Our hero and narrator is a 12-year-old girl named Maude. I’d like to read more comic books from the point of view of twelve-year-old girls. Maude is on the cusp of adolescence in a world that is very frightened of female adolescence because of this whole transforming-into-panther-monsters thing. Also, her dad is a detective, investigating what appears to be a serial mauling. Maude is wry and smart and reflective, and she wears a pink hat. I like her a lot.
Vince Brusio: How many drafts did you crank through before settling down on the final character designs? What characters are more complex? Which are more explosive?
Chelsea Cain: I sent Kate a lot of “look book” images I found online of strange cat print wallpaper and sarcastic teenage girls and Hot Topic jeans and cat ear headbands and other symbols of the revolution. I also sent her some dorky drawings I did of layouts, so she could see what I was picturing, or at least some lame version of what I was thinking. She is very good at that — drawing my ideas better than I can. I love her for that.
Vince Brusio: The solicitation says this book should appeal to readers of Kelly Sue DeConnick's Bitch Planet. Could you elaborate a bit on that comparison?
Chelsea Cain: I guess it’s because we both have such sparkling personalities. And really good taste in shoes. And also maybe something to do with tapping into a well of simmering female rage? Nah… It’s probably the shoes. No WAIT. It’s the simmering female rage! I don’t know. I love Bitch Planet, and I suspect that people who appreciate Bitch Planet (smart, excellent people) will appreciate Man-eaters as well. I also think that Man-eaters can reach some readers who maybe aren’t totally ready for Bitch Planet? (Age-wise, not woke-wise.) I am here for you, seventh-graders. Also — not that Bitch Planet isn’t hilarious — but I think Man-eaters might be a little funnier. There. I said it.
Vince Brusio: What was the most challenging/rewarding thing for you in developing this series for Image Comics?
Chelsea Cain: My friend Lia Miternique and I started a company called Ministry of Trouble to publish Man-eaters with Image. Our artist, Kate, lives in Poland, and apparently cashing a check there is really a pain. So I got to call my bank and say “I need to wire money to Poland from the Ministry of Trouble.” They definitely think I’m some sort of international criminal now. So that’s pretty rewarding.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.