Mizuno Junko is one of the most renowned and uniquely brilliant artists that I have ever laid my sleepy peepers on. When I saw that she was releasing a graphic novel entitled Ravina the Witch? I gobbled up every preview and sneak peek I could through the mystical powers of the internet.
If you have never read or seen anything by Mizuno, I would of course encourage you to do so, and not simply because I am a super fan of her work. Ravina the Witch? Is a graphic novel that encompasses everything that this dazzling artist is known for. The story is like a transcendent fairy tale, and makes you feel as if you’ve been thrown back into a different kind of childhood.
Somewhere in Europe, Ravina has always lived in a vast garbage dump with a thousand crows, her only friends. She fluently speaks the language of the crows, and they are the only living things she comes in contact with until a mysterious woman wanders into the garbage dump and gives Ravina a magic wand. The woman states that she is a witch and has been tortured by people because of what she is. The witch not only gives Ravina her magic wand, but also the words to cast spells. Life goes on as usual until one day, men pull her out of the dump and whisk her away in a carriage.
From there, Ravina comes in contact with all kinds of creatures, humans and animals alike. She explores magical places and even more magical situations, all the while trying to figure out exactly who and what she is.
Mizuno Junko’s work is something that is a journey, and grabs the reader by their very soul and gives them a beautiful gift. Her imagination and the way she sees the world is unlike any graphic novel; it’s a pure pastel fantasy land dotted with silver and gold. Reading Ravina the Witch? Is much more of an experience that truly makes me believe in magic, as it must be magic to fit such an enormous universe of talking animals and eroticism in strange places into one little book. I greatly underestimated what this story would be like, and it’s impossible not to be inspired after reading it.
This story has so many different layers to it, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen next. When it seems innocent and childlike, there comes a twist of tasteful and feminine erotic in the plot. When you think all hope is lost and tragedy is surely around the corner, Ravina encounters a thought-provoking character that pokes deep discussion around gender. There are so many bits snippets of things that pull from manga, poetry, Alice in Wonderland, psychedelic movements, and fairy tales, yet the final presentation is one hundred percent uniquely Mizuno.
There are so many emotions that surge through a person when they read or peer upon a piece of art like this. I strongly recommend Ravina the Witch? Only if you truly want to experience something that will lift you up by your toes and throw you into a place that will turn you on your head times ten
Simply: 5 Stars
Ravina the Witch?
Writer/Artist: Junko Mizuno
HC – FC – 48pp – $24.99