New Horror Graphic Novel a Vivid Tale About Otherworldly Family

‘She Eats the Night,’ which revolves around Chinese American twins and their mother, is full of stunning illustrations and supernatural chaos

9 0
11:17 AM HKT, Fri October 14, 2022 1 mins read

A joint creation of The New York Times-bestselling novelist Marjorie Liu and Eisner Award-winning illustrator Sana Takeda, The Night Eaters: She Eats The Night is a horror graphic novel about supernatural chaos and family ties in the lives of Chinese American twins.

Published by Abrams ComicArts, the graphic novel dropped on October 11.

the cover of she eats the night the night eaters marjorie liu sana takeda

Cover for The Night Eaters: She Eats The Night

She Eats The Night, the first volume of what will become The Night Eaters trilogy, follows twins Milly and Billy, who are struggling restaurateurs. While restoring a run-down house that was the site of a violent murder, they accidentally unleash grotesque horrors, which reveal hidden truths about the twins and their mother, Ipo.

The comic jumps about in both its setting and timeline. Readers will learn more about Ipo’s youth in mid-century Hong Kong and the twins’ life in present-day America — two separate but connected tales distinguished by Takeda’s elaborate art.

She Eats The Night has thus far been compared to Barry Windsor-Smith’s graphic novel Monsters, Kevin Kwan’s novel Crazy Rich Asians, and Boots Riley’s film Sorry to Bother You.

ipo in she eats the night

Illustrator Sana Takeda’s rendering of Ipo

A definitive highlight of She Eats The Night is the illustrations. Takeda renders the story using sepia-toned watercolors and intricate inkwork, qualities reminiscent of traditional Chinese paintings. She also does a deft job of swiftly transitioning from placid domesticity to a sinister shadow world.

Liu’s fascinating plot backs the illustrations. The writer’s unique take on the classic haunted house tale ultimately transforms Ipo into the star of the story.

Possibly the most dynamic of all the characters, she embodies the mystery and self-sacrifice of many Chinese mothers, a trajectory also seen in Pixar’s Turning Red and Everything Everywhere All At Once, starring Chinese Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh.

she eats the night milly and billy

An illustrated conversation between twins Milly and Billy

Although Milly and Billy’s personalities occasionally fall flat, especially compared to Ipo’s in-depth character development, the comic’s twists and turns are interesting enough to keep readers hooked.

Overall, She Eats The Night is a haunting and heartfelt creation that culminates with a collision between a monstrous underworld and familial love, making it a gripping read.

The Night Eaters trilogy is not the first collaboration between Liu and Takeda. Both are also the masterminds behind Monstress, an award-winning fantasy comic series set in a 20th-century Asian steampunk world.

All images via Abrams ComicArts, courtesy of Superfan Promotions

Join the Conversation
Write comment

Use this time to reassess your life choices