Man-Eaters No. 4 review: Cat Fight, a boy’s guide to dangerous cats


The latest issue of Man-Eaters is a vicious attack on manhood and rightly so.

Satire is one of the truest forms of commentary. “Punching up” is how a good joke is told, and mocking institutions of power is a time-honored tradition dating back to the fourteenth century, and even further, to the Roman times. Not to be confused with “lampooning”, which is equally hilarious, satire is best when it takes itself seriously, and rarely has this author seen satire as on-the-nose as the fourth issue of Man-Eaters. Written by Chelsea Cain, illustrated by Lia Miternique and Stella Greenvoss, with further text by Eliza “Fantastic” Mohan and swagger by Katie Lane, this issue of Man-Eaters, a comic nominally about a mutant strain of toxoplasmosis that turns tweens into panther-like beasts, has taken the form of a Teen Beat or Vogue magazine, but wholly dedicated to keeping boys safe, selling estrogen-removal products, and poking a whole lot of fun at the notion that “men aren’t safe” anymore.

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Prepare to be dazzled by the geniuses who work on Man-Eaters

Some comics have supplemental material, usually advertisements relating to the characters or locations in the comic itself. This entire issue of Man-Eaters is one big supplement. It contains ads for testosterone-enhanced beverages and estrogen sanitizers, it has first-person tales of cat attacks, it has graphs, it has charts, there are subscription offers that save you a bunch of money; it’s a fully realized mockery of, say, Mademoiselle, gone catty. There are plugs for books on how to interpret a cat’s behavior, complete with corny photos of the author and an “ear position identification” macro. Stunning, in a word.

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Man-Eaters answers your questions about Toxo-X, and identifies poo

There is a question and answer section devoted to learning about the ill effects of toxoplasmosis X, along with a handy life-cycle chart explaining the science behind the infection, of which you are most certainly infected by already. Interviews with S.C.A.T. employees (Special Cat Apprehension Team) are interspersed with poop identification puzzles, advice on how to deal with annoying sisters, an info bar explaining the different cat alarm sirens, and another interview with teenage boys, who are terrified of teenage girls. Obviously. An explanation of Boy’s Lounges is provided, along with, again, more ads for anti-estrogen products like cologne and deodorant, an “anxious boys” horoscope section, and a “Dear Abby”-like letters section, with men asking about safe house construction, preparing for cat attacks, and readers correcting the magazine for falsely including a certain flavor of ESTRO-POP in a previous issue’s story. The back page is that of any magazine, with ads for subscriptions and special deals for teachers. Man-Eaters absolutely killed it with this issue.

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It was said above, but it bears repeating: this issue of Man-Eaters is stunning. The dedication to crafting such a fine, biting statement about feminism and male insecurity is astounding, and anyone looking to laugh, hard, at how silly men can be would do well to examine this issue or any of the other ones, which tells the story of a teenager going thru her own case of Toxo-X. 10/10, must recommend. Keep your eyes open for a sprawling “20 Questions” with Chelsea Cain on this website soon, and let us know what you thought in the comments section below.