I don’t typically read web comics mainly because I like to take my comics on the train with me, but during a routine glide around the internets, I happened upon MFK, an interesting story created by Nilah Magruder. So I gave the first chapter a whirl and here is what I found.
Our story starts with a young man named Jamie and his grandfather Iman, who are in the processes of traveling through a sandstorm when they encounter Abbie, a young woman with orange eyes and a dying animal closely resembling an emu. After Jamie puts the creature to rest, Abbie passes out and wakes up days later in a bed being tended to by Jamie’s aunt Nifrain, who happens to be the town doctor.
After constantly , and hilariously, trying to escape her sickbed, Abbie acquiesces to her current condition. Over the course of several nights a number of unidentified people attack the village, until one day Abbie is allowed outside just as a giant begins extorting the town for food and money. When he leaves Nifrain tells Abbie that giants aren’t wanted in their town, letting her know that she is aware of her heritage.
Straight out of the gate I loved this story from Iman’s wry wit to, to Jamie’s sense of adventure, to Nifrain’s stern bedside manner; the family feels organic and fresh. The world is alive, vibrant and bursting with possibilities that will probably pop up during the course of Abbie’s journey. What I find the most refreshing is that this fantasy story takes place in a non-European setting, instead being set in an arid region allowing for a multitude of diverse cultural analogues that would naturally dwell in such climates.
The art is fantastic with a light and airy style; Magruder out does herself in both the color choices and the designs. The little details that she incorporates like Abbie’s hearing aid and her orange eyes add to the uniqueness of the this seemingly baroque world filled with old world structures and future devices. My only issue with the first chapter, and it may be a webcomic issue or not, but I feel like we didn’t get enough screen time with Abbie. We saw her enter in bloody and exhausted and I assume we’ll find out why at some point in the story, but I’d still like to know the ‘what’ of the matter. That being what she would get so bloodied and half killed for in the first place.
As far as stories go, this one has a lot of potential and as far as webcomics in general go, I’ll probably be making an exception to my funny books only stance in the near future.
You can read MFK at the official MFK site, updated every Monday.