Grimm Tales from the Cave: My Name Is...
Rania is the new employee in an exploitative company. The lights are kept on all day and night, and she’s demanded to do her duty from day one. Her only way to get away with this new job is to accept the middle manager’s help. But at a fatal cost: first her belongings, then her own name.
Nadia Shammas, with art by Rowan MacGoll and letters by Micah Myers, tells an anti-capitalistic reinvention of Rumpelstiltskin.
If you don’t name it, it doesn’t exist. The cultural meaning of names is the magical center, terror and relief of Rumpelstiltskin. ‘My Name Is…’ plays with that concept and brings it down to an everyday demon, capitalism. The lack of individuality and the loss of the self brought down by office, monotonous, boring work, the invasion of the private life by the workplace, the numbness and lack of self-awareness that comes with being exploited, get perfectly characterized by Nadia Shammas in this poignant nerve-itching story. It is scary, in how similar these situations (right from the “we’re a family” motto to the dismissal of the unfair situations Rania is going through again and again) get to real life, and how they are legitly frightening.
The terrifyingness of the mundane gets reflected by elongated, sharp, cartoonish but vaguely familiar art. The lines and colors of Rowan MacGoll feel comfortable within a newspaper strip but menacing like an old horror comic. The manager feels like someone you can know but like an uncanny goblin at the same time, and that’s where the genius of this comic lies.
Like a lot of other stories in this particularly inventive anthology, even if you know how the tale “ends”, they expand on the meaning, bringing new dimensions to what these traditional tales want to tell. As the tale goes, the delicious conclusion of “name it to fight it” gets surrounded by a particular brand of collective liberation, in the most bravely socialist comic I have read in quite a while. I can tell you, by the similarities of what this creative team is doing and the other short comics it is surrounded with, that this is an anthology worth getting your hands on, because it risks, and it risks further than what is expected.
‘My Name Is…’ is perfect resignification, sagacious criticism of capitalism, & a great taste of an amazing horror anthology, out this Wednesday at Mad Cave Studios.
Grimm Tales from the Cave: My Name Is…
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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