Mae #1 Sets Up for AdventureMay 3, 2016
Mae, from Eisner-winning comics creator Gene Ha, debuts with its first mainstream publisher, Dark Horse, this month. Beginning as a popular Kickstarter, reaching its goal in a mere 36 hours, the original story and its continuations will now be available to the general comic-buying public (although double-hipster bragging points to the backers who got it first).
Mae tells the story of two sisters, Abbie and the titular Mae, who end up going on fantastic adventures together because the creatures from Abbie’s original solo sagas have crossed over into reality. The first issue, containing the same material as the Kickstarter, introduces Abbie’s habit of running away repeatedly from a young age and then segues into the modern day, where Mae is in her early twenties and is in charge of taking care of her family since Abbie’s disappearance. After coffee with a friend, Mae gets a call from the sheriff and has to
go pull her recently reappeared sister from the local drunk tank. While at a gas station, Abbie fights a furry fairytale critter which prompts the two sisters to discuss where Abbie has been “all this time.”
Ha’s vibrant and punchy illustration style permeates this most-ages female-led fantasy adventure story. While the colors are saturated and eye-catching, a signature style for both Ha and a book geared at a younger audience, most notable is the use of purple—in the sisters’ hair, clothing, and background. It’s an aesthetic that allows the title to settle in easily among other popular books like Jem and the Holograms or Zodiac Starforce while still pulling attention on the shelf.
Overall, it’s a cool decision on Ha’s part to say “what happens to the hero’s little sister when they’re off in make-believe land?” and then explore the answer. Mae promises to be an off-beat page-turner, if the first issue is any indication, and will be available from Dark Horse on May 18th.