Mamo #1 gives us a clash between modern witchcraft, and the dark arts of unseelie fae. With some possible yuri in the future.
Sas Milledge (The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel) is the writer for Mamo #1. Milledge is also the artist for this comic book, so she’s basically your average mangaka. Trung Lê Nguyễn (The Magic Fish) and Veronica Fish (Sabrina) did the variant covers respectively. Finally, BOOM! Studios is the publisher for this comic book under their BOOM! Box imprint.
Mamo #1 went on sale on July 7, 2021. You can purchase print copies at your local comic book store. Or if you’re satisfied with the digital version, you can download them from digital outlets like ComiXology.
Warning: spoilers for Mamo #1 below. If you want to read this haunting tale of witches and unseelie fae for yourself, stop here and come back once you have returned from being spirited away.
Mamo #1: Plot Summary
The story of Mamo #1 begins when a girl named Jo Manalo sets out from her town of Haresden on her bike to meet the Witch of Haresden, named Orla O’Reilly. Jo’s problem? Someone (or something) cursed her mother, and only a witch can help her. Only, Orla isn’t actually the witch Jo is looking for. The real Witch of Haresden is actually Orla’s grandmother, and she’s long dead. Fortunately, Orla is still a witch, and even though she is reluctant at first, she eventually agrees to help Jo out.
The helping in Mamo #1 starts with Orla keeping Jo from falling into a fae trap she didn’t know about. Turns out, the fae of Haresden are definitely of the unseelie variety, and it only gets worse from there. Turns out, Haresden has a bit of a weed problem, if your definition of “weed” is “trees growing into and through houses”. Yeah, that’s not normal at all. The locals also blame the Witch of Haresden for their fae problems, so it’s even worse news for Orla. Well, on the bright side: at least they’re not bringing out the torches and pitchforks…yet.
Anyways, Orla finally makes it to Jo’s house and gets a look at the situation. Jo has a pair of an annoyingly adorable (or adorably annoying) little sister who are, fortunately, well and normal, even if the younger sister does ask Orla to “tell the lady in the attic to go away”. Unfortunately, the mother is definitely under some magical curse. Being asleep for a month isn’t normal, and having hand-shaped bruises mysteriously appear on her isn’t normal in the slightest. Orla investigates, starting with the “lady in the attic”.
Unsurprisingly, the lady in the attic is an evil fae. What is surprising is that she is Mamo: Orla’s grandmother, and the original Witch of Haresden. Orla tries to contain her, but fails, and is about to die (or suffer a worse fate), when Jo steps in and gives her a hand. What happens to both of them? Well, we’ll find out in Mamo #2.
Mamo #1: The Good
Oh, where to begin? The story of Mamo #1 is one of the best I’ve seen in a comic book. The best I can describe it is the love child of Kiki’s Delivery Service and The Ancient Magus’ Bride. It’s that mixture of seeing an untested witch try to get along with mundane humans, and a battle with unseelie fae that makes this a pretty compelling story.
On top of that, the artwork for Mamo #1 is just gorgeous. The backgrounds look like something out of a watercolor painting, and the character designs are so detailed and interesting. The animals look hyper-realistic, and the fae looks appropriately unnatural. The whole comic book is really a demonstration of Sas Milledge’s skill as both a writer and an artist. Personally, I think she excels at both here, so definitely kudos to her here.
Plus, Jo and Orla have some budding yuri potential going on here. As a yuri fan, this is a big plus for me. Even if this isn’t the case, their friendship is still adorable. I love shojo-ai too for that reason.
Mamo #1: The Bad
This part is…tough. As enamored with Mamo #1 as I am, I feel like it’d be nitpicking to point out anything truly wrong with it. Ah, I give up. Read it for yourself, and you decide if there’s anything wrong enough with it to point out.
Mamo #1 by Sas Milledge is basically the love child of Kiki’s Delivery Service and The Ancient Magus’ Bride. It’s one of the best fantasy comic book series I’ve read so far, with a good bit of yuri potential in the future. Don’t believe me? Then check out this comic book series from BOOM! Studios for yourself, since it’s already on sale as of July 7, 2021.
Source: BOOM! Studios