Mamo is a fantastic new series by artist and writer Sas Milledge that will capture your heart and your imagination. The second issue is out this week and continues the story of hedge witch Orla, who is helping a local girl named Jo with a magic-related problem. Her mother is very sick, and while they’ve pinpointed the problem it turns out it’s tied to Orla’s grandmother and it’s affecting areas around Haresden. Clocking in at 51 pages of content, the second issue expands on the deeper issues affecting all of Haresden.
Mamo #2 opens in Jo’s attic where we last found them. You can read the opening in the preview, which reveals the thing making Jo’s mother sick was a remnant of Orla’s grandmother Mamo. We soon learn Mamo wasn’t laid to rest properly, so her spirit lives on in pieces. In turn, this is a problem for the people of Haresden, and Orla — a rather antisocial type — decides to take it upon herself to resolve the issue. Thanks to Orla saving Jo’s mother, the two set off to figure out where to start.
Milledge continues to write and draw one of the most endearing comics on the stands today. The main characters are clearly forming a bond that may go deeper than friendship. The journey they’re setting out to accomplish is set in a small-town scenario that is easy to relate to and connect with. Both Jo and Orla are younger, possibly teenagers or a touch younger than that, and it’s a perfect storm for a coming of age tale.
The pace of this story is quite unique, in part because it has more pages to flesh things out, but also because it’s taking its time. It’s never boring, but it’s also never too quick. A scene involving Jo’s family having a meal with Orla is a good example of how it takes its time to show the quirks of the family. You can tell Orla is unfamiliar with this setup and she’s not only learning something about them but maybe about herself and how she grew up too. This pays off later with a reveal of Orla’s childhood further cementing how scenes move at their own pace but are important.
The magical elements of the world continue to be woven in naturally. It’s interesting how Haresden feels like some faraway place or it’s set at a long past time and yet it has modern elements, too. The fact that the fishermen know of the fae, for instance, suggests it might take place at a time when such things are believed. Similar to the first issue, we get to see magic in its natural place and it appears at opportune times.
This issue also helps define what the remaining story will be about for its five-issue run. That helps establish the wider picture and where our characters go from here. There’s a casualness to the stakes that make even the anxiety around the problem to be solved soothing. As I said in the review for the first issue, the entire vibe of the book is similar to Studio Ghibli films.
Mamo #2 widens the horizon of the larger story and develops its characters well. This series continues to be a breath of fresh air and a soothing experience. It’s a series young and old alike should appreciate, and it has a uniqueness in regards to the magic that feels entirely new.
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