Some comics you hear about and just know they’re going to be right up your street. I’ve been a fan of Diigii Daguna’s work for a while so when I read that they were producing a comic I had to get my hands on it. Mami certainly lived up to expectations.
The story centres around Haiyan Nieto, a detective who has been chasing the thief Goyong for a significant portion of his life. After the prologue it begins retracing the steps of the characters’ relationship and goes back on itself to round off the tale. The story feels polished overall and carefully considered, allowing enough time to gain an understanding of the characters balanced against the overarching plot.
Of course, being a detective story, it has an air of mystery – most of which surrounds Goyong as a character. Every piece of information he puts forward about himself could be interpreted as a lie or skirting the truth. There’s something so appealing about an elusive character, especially when they are pitted against somebody who plays by the book and remains fairly straight-laced.
Peppered throughout the story are little segues into information about food – with beautiful illustrations depicting food and the process of making it which, as well as being interesting in themselves, help provide an insight into the characters’ view of life. It gives them an interest beyond their jobs and allows the reader to relate to them on a more personal level.
The use of lettering to emphasise action underpins several of the scenes, creating a sensation entirely different to that of the characters’ speech likely because of the thicker lines, making them appear louder and far more obnoxious than regular speech.
The colour palette is gorgeous and the contrast between the dark blue, orange and yellow really matches the energy that is felt through reading the comic and lends itself to some interesting lighting effects that add to the atmosphere. It matches the fluidity of the characters’ movement throughout the work and making every moment appear with clarity and zest. The exaggerated character acting provides a cartoonish vibrancy that lasts throughout the comic and makes every interaction between the characters seem full of life. The composition is gorgeous; the panels full to the brim with art.
Mami is a must-read if you enjoy fun comics with a real heart and tasty food. It has a quirky feeling that puts a smile on your face with its upbeat and zany charm.
Diigii Daguna (W/A) • Peow Studio, £10.00
Review by Holly Raidl