The smash- hit indie graphic novel series Is’nana the Were-Spider is back with a brand new adventure kicking off in the streets of NYC! From writer and creator Greg Anderson Elysée with art by Miguel Blanco comes Is’nana the Were-Spider: Showtime, the fourth entry of the award- winning mythological comic book series. With a super successful Kickstarter campaign, nearly 600 backers are helping to bring this project to life! Fans of the horror- fantasy/ coming of age story can expect another adventurous, fun and thought- provoking tale featuring our beloved hero Is’nana. Anxious, excited and ready to explore a new city Is’nana encounters not only a vibrant city full of music, love and laughter but also one of violence, hate and injustice.
For new readers Is’nana: The Were-Spider is an impressive mythological/ horror graphic novel series about Is’nana: the son of the Great Spider God, Anansi. This indie series is a refreshing tale about wisdom, humanity, and heart drawing inspiration from Black mythology, folklore and spirituality. Inspired by West African and Caribbean folklore (Anansi); Is’nana: takes us into a new world of horror, humanity, and chaos. After accidentally breaking the barrier between our world and The Mother Kingdom, Is’nana is on a quest to capture all of the horrible creatures and monsters he has released into our world.
Showtime is a 64- page one shot taking place between Vol 1: Forgotten Stories and Vol 2: The Hornet’s Web. After the events of Vol. 1, in Showtime we find Is’nana exploring the exciting streets of NYC while still keeping an eye for any supernatural beings. Still struggling to find his identity in this new world, Is’nana meets a crew of young and talented Showtime dancers named the Silencerz who introduce him to city living and the exciting world of B-boy and street dance.
If you’re from NYC then you know what “SHOWTIME!” means. The Silencerz (Princess C, Gris Gris, and Krimsin) are a group of young go getters just trying to get by and make some money doing what they love. Roaming the streets of New York with his new friends Is’nana becomes intrigued by dancing, entertaining crowds and exploring all of the amazing things the city has to offer including trying foreign foods. While on his quest of our world Is’nana is often observing human interactions and behaviors. He witnesses not only love and compassion but a world of violence, injustice and hate. After officially joining the Silencerz and gaining the confidence to let loose Is’nana encounters.. wait for it…. police officers. They not only have him pinned down, but attack him using excessive force. Innocent, naive and unaware of what police brutality is or even racism for that matter young Is’nana has no idea what is happening. He was simply dancing, having a good time with his friends and thanking the crowd. He has now experienced an issue all too familiar for inner city urban kids.
Is’nana also come face to face with a ruthless villain that has been released into our world. This one shot finds Is’nana fighting “a diabolical being of South African lore, Inyoni the Impundulu (Lightning Bird)“. Inyoni preys upon innocents and appears to have some kind of compulsion powers. Is’nana’s sole mission is to return these creatures to their rightful plane so we really see his powers put to the test when he’s fighting these evil beings.
Is’nana is a spider with a human form in our world but he can tap into different spider forms and abilities, such as shooting webs or using webs as maps or ways to read messages; leaping through the air; agility, growing extra limbs, both spider and human; transforming into a spider; inject venom; using spiders to rebuild him, etc.
Greg does a fantastic job of introducing readers to these spiritual figures that many of us may not be familiar with. In Is’nana the Were- Spider Vol. 1 we explored Is’nana’s relationship with his father The Spider God, Anansi. In Volume one and two Greg introduced more modernized versions of Osebo the Leopard, Mmboro the Hornet (characters from West African Folklore) and Papa Legba, Ti-Malice, Compere Chat, and Bouki (figures from Haitian stories). We also witnessed Is’nana’s encounter with John Henry, Rawhead, and Bloody Bones in his last entry The Ballads of Rawhead & John Henry (Black American folklore).
Like the previous entries of the series, the main mission of Is’nana the Were-Spider is to serve as a way to introduce audiences to folklore, mythological, and spiritual figures from various Black cultures and beliefs.My hope is to continue to showcase more of these figures in hopes of educating, building interests to seek out more information and awareness with these characters, and keeping them alive. –Greg Anderson Elysée
It is important to support indie comics and to get more stories like this heard. Is’nana offers readers a new take on the superhero genre and a captivating mythological story inspired by black mythology while also touching upon current real world issues. Although Is’nana explores experiences of injustice and issues so relevant to today’s current political climate, it still takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure. Is’nana is still a curious teenager intrigued by the intimidating city. Miguel Blanco’s art fits perfectly with Greg’s vibrant and exciting storytelling. The pages are full of beautiful vibrant colors and movement and really gives readers an authentic NYC feel. Reading this comic you feel a real sense of culture and connection. I love that the Silencerz are a diverse crew with an Asian female, Afro latino, and black members. I love that this comic gives readers a real sense of NYC living and explores the concept of race and identity.
Is’nana the Were- Spider: Showtime is a fun and exciting coming of age story full of life, humanity and culture. Is’nana is a tale about wisdom, heart and justice and offers readers something refreshing and different from your typical superhero narratives. In my review of Is’nana Volume 1, I called Is’nana “the Hero of our Generation” and this new one shot really shows that. Is’nana, aside from being a superhero, he is just a teenager trying to find his own identity and sense of self in this monumental world. Readers looking for a new and thrilling take on traditional story-telling then this is the story for you.
I highly recommend Is’nana the Were-Spider to fans of mythology, folklore and horror, or readers looking for something different than your typical superhero story.
Writer & creator Greg Anderson Elysée
Art pencils by Miguel Blanco
Colorist Angael Davis-Cooper
Letterer Deron Bennett
Bonus story artist David Brame
Cover artist Khary Randolph
Follow Writer/ Creator Greg and WebWay Comics for more Is’nana !