Writer/Artist/Colorist: Mirka Andolfo
Color’s assistant: Gianluca Papi
Lettering & production: Fabio Amejia
Unnatural was originally published by Panini Comics in 2016 under the name ‘Contra Natura’. Mirka Andolfo is a sensational Italian artist who has done magnificent work for other creators. It’s here with Unnatural she brings her own creative story which is written, drawn and colored by Mirka herself. Unnatural centers around cute piggy girl Leslie, her friend Trish and work colleague Derek. The characters are animal hybrid creatures such as pigs, lizards, and wolves, living ordinary lives in an overcomplicated society. The world of Unnatural is governed by a totalitarian government insisting the same species and same sex relationships are illegal. Leslie is having dreams of a life beyond what the world will allow and in the world of Unnatural, these dreams are dangerous. Can our cute piggy protagonist find the right language of love? Or will she find herself lost in unnatural translation?
The opening panels begin with us witnessing one of the first encounters of Leslie’s vivid wolf dreams. She’s fantasising about an erotic romance with a mysterious white haired wolf. It immediately sucks you right into the fantasy. The artwork is flawless in true Mirka style and you truly fall into
Unnatural’s world early on. Leslie awakens from her dream, guzzling on her pillow thinking of the dream wolf, to be met by her roommate Trish. Trish is a girl with mouse like features who wastes no time in stating it’s not the first time Leslie’s had such dreams. It’s Leslie’s 25th birthday and she makes her way through the rainy streets of the world contemplating last nights dream. The city she is in advertises the worlds regime, littered with signs and billboards of a pink and blue colour scheme. “Can’t marry before 25? Let the reproduction program help!” is one such example. Leslie arrives at work and is humiliated by her boss Mr. Hans in front of her colleagues. I’d like to point out here is where I realised how relatable and similar to our own world this will be. Minus the governments severe relationship meddling, Leslie and her friends lives are really relatable to our own. Her friend Derek, a goat like guy, meets her outside her place of work and a conversation takes place explaining how he’s in a relationship with a man who’s the same species as Leslie. We learn how the government punishes those who break the law and their punishments for not marrying before the age of 25. Later a mysterious figure can be seen keeping a close eye on Leslie as she works. And the issue itself will leave you in suspense for part two. Who is this strange stalker, are the dreams a foresight and how will the issue end?
It’s going to be an incredible journey that is going to correlate a lot to the world we live in whilst at the same time exploring a fantasy world. With the superb art and creativity in the writing, I have seen so far in this issue, it’s a series I will highly recommend. Mirkas art is bright and vibrant and she has such attention to detail. This can be seen throughout but I particularly like the designs of the characters and Leslie’s apartment. Mirrored with the story that is unravelling in unnatural (the mysterious stalker that Leslie witnesses and the email closing panel she receives) this was a brilliant first issue and I look forward to the next ten issues.