cover image Mariko Between Worlds

Mariko Between Worlds

Matthew Erman and Liana Kangas. Mad Cave Studios, $19.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-952303-53-1

A breakup is envisioned as an interdimensional crisis in this action-filled rom-com from Erman (Bonding) and Kangas (the Trve Kvlt series). Mariko is a typical citizen in a multiverse connected by dimensional gateways, working as a cocktail waitress at a massive hub called the Mall of Portals and browsing its countless lush adventures in her downtime. When her alien boyfriend Rem leaves her to take a job in a universe of corporate wage slaves, she descends into the interdimensional underground to get the visa she needs to follow him. The premise is barely sketched in before the plot plunges into a kaleidoscope of universes with names like the Undertow, the Plane of Honeyed Milk, and the Moon of Plenty, where Mariko encounters characters ranging from an angelic exotic dancer who devours egos to the skeleton staff of a restaurant that serves grief. Beneath the sardonic banter and barrage of fantastical concepts is a sincere story about moving on to a new stage of life and coping with endless change. Chunky inks and neon colors create the sense of realistic characters adrift in unreal situations. Fans of The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy will enjoy this romp. (Aug.)