Waluk by Emilio Ruiz and Ana Miralles

A male polar bear

A polar bear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wild beasts are the improbable instruments of Nature’s wrath in this sensational eco-horror graphic novel (written by Emilio Ruiz and illustrated by Ana Miralles) of polar bears driven to attack man by melting ice caps and loss of food resources. In one dramatic scene, Alaskans huddle in fear as an articulated restaurant car is overturned and looted by massed monsters. Some dialogue didn’t seem apt for an Arctic setting.

In the West, mature children are expected to leave the family home and make their own way in the world; without their mothers providing food for them like infants. Westerners don’t think of this as mothers abandoning children; westerners think of it has children becoming adults. In this story, the analogous (apparently) common practice of polar bear mothers leaving home so that polar bear children can grow into their own lives is portrayed as abandonment by the mother – a misogynistic slant. It’s understandable that a newly separated child can feel lonely or abandoned, but while many talking polar bears are depicted, the work never takes the opportunity to give the opinion of a polar bear mother.

I read a review copy from the publisher.


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