The darkly beautiful fairy tales of manga artist Junko Mizuno will return to comic shelves in early 2017 with an English language edition of Ravina the Witch? from Titan Comics.
The Tokyo-born artist, now based in San Francisco, is known as a progenitor of the gothic kawaii comic style. However, Mizuno shies away from that label. “I don’t want to label my style with words,” she told J-culture magazine BCM in 2015. “I get influenced by so many genres, so I don’t feel the need to name it,” she said, explaining that while it’s understandable that others view or market her work that way, “gothic kawaii is not my official statement.”
It’s not hard to see why Mizuno’s fantastical, detailed images would be viewed as a part of the gothic lotlita kawaii style, popularized via the elaborate and stunning fashions of the Harajuku district of Japan. Mizuno’s first book, Pure Trance, saw print in the mid-ninties, just as the gothic lolita subculture was itself emerging.
Fans of Mizuno’s other gorgeously twisted takes on popular fairy tales will find a lot to love in Ravina the Witch, a story that doesn’t draw as heavily from a specific source as her previous works Cinderalla, Hansel And Gretel, and Princess Mermaid. From Titan:
Ravina the Witch?, from the supremely talented visual artist Junko Mizuno, is a dark, fantastical illustrated tale featuring talking animals, giant birds and dancing mushrooms. When Ravina is given a magic wand by a mysterious old woman, she turns from a lonely girl living in a dump… into a witch?”
Though the premise seems tailor-made for younger readers, Ravina the Witch? has a decidedly adult flair and features mature themes, including BDSM, that are more appropriate for an older audience.
Titan’s European comics editor Lizzie Kaye, who’s ushered in titles such as Snowpiercer and Elric: The Ruby Throne had this to say about bringing Mizuno’s Ravina the Witch? to an English-language audience:
We are so excited to be bringing this beautiful story to a new audience, Junko’s artwork is truly stunning, and the story is funny, sweet, and so dark!”
Be among the first to check out the book in the preview pages below. Ravina the Witch? Is available for pre-order now, and hits stores January 18, 2017.