Supernatural beings are the norm in the new Image Comics series Moonstruck, which follows a young werewolf barista, Julie, as she gets sucked into fantastic situations despite her best efforts to live an ordinary life. Written by Grace Ellis with art by Shae Beagle, this ongoing offers a light-hearted twist on mythical monsters that is rooted in relatable personal dramedy. Ellis is the co-creator of Lumberjanes, another series that does excellent work balancing grounded character moments with spectacular fantasy, and Moonstruck gives her the opportunity to continue exploring this dynamic with characters in an older age range, allowing for a wider variety of stories. Starring a plus-sized queer lead, this book is also taking strides to improve representation on the page, and Ellis’ past work has revealed a talent for empathetic, engaging depictions of people that don’t get much attention in mainstream comics.
Artist Shae Beagle is a newcomer to comics, but there’s a lot of skill on display in this exclusive preview of Moonstruck #1. The character designs are memorable, the expressions are bold, and the moment-to-moment storytelling is very clear. There’s a strong energy behind this roommate dispute, and Beagle makes smart decisions that amplify the tension. The reveal of Lindi’s snake hair is given extra impact by framing the image with diagonal borders, and the clean white panel gutters are replaced by thick, scratchy black lines that reflect Lindi’s unbridled rage. The last page does very clever, subtle work showing the shifting power balance between Lindi and Julie, and as Julie’s werewolf side begins to come out, her panels become wider to indicate that she’s not going to let Lindi walk all over her. Readers can learn more about Julie and her monstrous friends when Moonstruck #1 hits stands on July 19, but in the meanwhile, here are six pages to get readers hungry for more.