Tomorrow is Halloween and the comic I’m reviewing today is very much on theme for the season, as it features witches, werewolves and evil cults, oh my! Mooncakes began life as a webcomic and has now been published in print format by Lion Forge under their teen imprint, Roar. Written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu, this is a queer, paranormal romance that’s quirky, sweet and wonderfully inclusive.
Nova is a young witch who lives at home with her two grandmothers and helps them run their magic book store/ café, while handling various supernatural jobs on the side. While responding to a report of strange lights appearing in the woods at night, she runs into Tam, a werewolf she was childhood friends with, who’s in the middle of battling a zombie-horse monster! Nova had a major crush on Tam but completely lost touch with them when they moved away, despite her efforts to stay in contact. Tam has had a difficult time since they left, but has never forgotten Nova. They’ve returned to town to try and put a stop to the demon that resides in the forest and has been avoiding Nova because they’re hesitant to get her involved. But that’s not going to be an option now that Nova has stumbled right into the fray. Having seen what Tam is up against, Nova isn’t about to let them try to handle this on their own! The two start working together to try and formulate a plan, with some much needed help from Nova’s Grandmothers. But there’s more to the story then Tam is telling and there might be more threats lurking in their quiet, little community then just a creepy demon possessing a dead horse.
Mooncakes is a very cute, feel-good romance featuring a pair of adorable leads and some magical, action-adventure to keep things exciting. Nova and Tam were close friends as children and they both trusted each other and felt that they could confide in the other about their struggles and pain. Reunited as young adults, they quickly become close again and romance soon starts to blossom. It’s not completely smooth sailing for the young couple, however. There’s still the looming problem of the demon to deal with and, on top of that, both Nova and Tam have some personal issues that they need to work through. Tam has had a hard life and is estranged from their family, for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into because of spoiler reasons, and they have trouble with letting themselves rely on others; something that gets them into some serious trouble. Nova, on the other hand, has a very supportive and loving family, but comes to question whether she’s allowed herself to become too dependent on them. Most witches her age would have already left home for an apprenticeship, but she’s stayed home and she can’t help but wonder if this has held back her personal growth in some way. Nova and Tam are there for each other as they work through these difficult feelings and the relationship they build over the course of this book is a truly supportive and caring one.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Mooncakes is a very inclusive comic. Tam is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns and Nova is Asian-American and is hearing impaired, something that comes in handy during one fight where she uses her hearing aids to produce an auditory magic attack that completely stuns her opponent. Probably my favourite characters in the comic are Nova’s lesbian Grandmothers. Both of these awesome ladies are powerful witches and loving grandparents to Nova and they’re just so cool! It’s great to see an older lesbian couple kicking butt and still being totally in love well into their golden years.
Mooncakes was a warm and comforting read. It may have magical battles and scary looking-horse monsters but, at its core, this story is about two young people finding love and finding inner strength, thanks to the support from their friends and loved ones. I was completely charmed by this magical tale and I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun and light paranormal romance.
Final score: 7.5 out of 10
For more information on Mooncakes, Visit Lion Forge’s website: https://www.lionforge.com/mooncakes/
What did you think of this comic? Did you originally find it as a webcomic or as a published book? Let me know in the comments!