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Ravina the Witch

Ravina The Witch?Ravina The Witch
By Junko Mizuno, Translation by C.B. Cebulski, Patrick Macias, and Jason Thompson
Titan Comics, 48 pp.
Rating: Not Rated

From Junko Mizuno, the creator of Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu and Princess Mermaid, comes her latest work, Ravina the Witch; a short story about a little girl named Ravina, who lives in a garbage dump, and her adventures as she journeys across a fairy tale landscape.

There’s a sense of innocence and play to Ravina the Witch, which gives way to a feeling of female exploitation as the story progresses. All Ravina wants is to be left alone in her dump, to live peacefully with her crow family, but she’s soon dragged from her home and forced into situation she has no real interest in due to the desires of men. Time after time she attempts to flee, only to find herself trapped in another undesirable situation again and again. Throughout most of this, Ravina’s alone, with her only friends being the crows, and a crossdressing farmer she stumbles across. That her only friends are either animals or someone who doesn’t fit into the heteronormative mold doesn’t seem to be a coincidence, as Mizuno is clearly touching upon ideas of female persecution and exploitation—Ravina’s initially forced to become a dominatrix and spends all day beating men for their pleasure—throughout the book.

A page from Ravina the Witch

Just a sample of Junko Mizuno’s lovely art.

There’s a dark, cartoonish sensibility to JunkoMizuno’s artwork which draws an easy comparison to the visual stylings of Tim Burton’s works, or the more cutesy goth look of certain Slave Labor Graphics book. Mizuno’s artwork is a bit flatter and two dimensional and almost looks like it could be inspired by stained glass windows. Indeed, there are a few sequences and images in the book that are framed like windows and resemble triptychs. Regardless of who or what Mizuno’s artwork resembles, it is absolutely gorgeous, with each page being crammed full of interesting visual nods, gags and lovely designs.

I have to admit to not having read anything by Junko Mizuno before this, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Ravina The Witch. What I got was a delightfully bizarre read, which has a surprising amount of depth to it, despite the adorably weird and deceptively simplistic artwork and story format. At just under fifty pages, it’s a short, quick read, and one that left me wanting to track down some of her other works to find out what I’ve been missing all this time.

Ravina the Witch will be available on 06/06/2017 from Titan Comics. Digital review copy provided by the publisher.

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