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Exclusive Preview: Award-Winning Duo Behind ‘Monstress’ Is Back With Fantasy Horror ‘The Night Eaters’

Person among flowers and smoke. Image: Abrams Comicarts.

When author Marjorie Liu and illustrator Sana Takeda team up, you know your eyes and imagination will be feasting. Best known for their Eisner-award-winning comic series Monstress (in which Liu, half Taiwanese, became the first woman and first woman of color ever to win the writing category), the duo is back with a new fantasy, horror graphic novel series with Abrams Comicarts. The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night will be the first book in the trilogy, and The Mary Sue has an exclusive look at chapter two of the story!

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Milly and Billy are Chinese American twins dealing with a plethora of issues, from the personal to a failing business they share ownership in. When their parents, Ipo and Keon, come in for their annual visit, the parents second-guess how they raised them. Are they at all to blame for their children’s issues? However, they don’t have much time to dwell on that because one night, cleaning up the house next door brings hell on Earth. In that mess, we learn Ipo has a secret, and it might be connected to Milly and Billy’s issues.

Po working as a student double in 1950s film on 20 of Night Eaters. Image: Abrams Comicarts
Po begins to kick ass on page 21 of Night Eaters. Image: Abrams Comicarts
Men talking to woman smoking on page 22 of Night Eaters. Image: Abrams Comicarts

From these pages, I’m thinking that Ipo has gone by Po in her earlier years in Hong Kong. Lui explained her inspiration behind this story:

I grew up outside Seattle and on many Friday nights my parents took me to Chinatown for dinner.  There was a video rental store near our favorite restaurant that only carried Mandarin and Cantonese language films.  My parents would rent five or ten movies, and we’d spend the next week watching them.  Most were Hong Kong comedies and kung fu films, and I was totally mesmerized by all the on-screen physicality. 

I wasn’t an athletic kid — my fantasy was to be just like those action stars — not realizing that other remarkable women and men deserved much of the credit for those incredible stunts I so admired (like a friend of mine, a Chinese-American stunt person, who is still hard at work kicking ass). 

I wanted to touch on that in The Night Eaters.  What would a tough woman like Ipo do, who needs a job?  A woman who has spent her whole life pretending to be someone she’s not?  Why not try her hand in the movie business?

See Lui at New York Comic Con 2022

Night Eaters. Image: Abrams Comicarts

If you’re at New York Comic Con (or near the Javits Center with the ability to buy a ticket) and reading this on October 7, Liu will be featured in a spotlight panel hosted in room 408 from 4:30 to 5:30! Joined by Abrams ComicArts’s Senior Editor Charlotte Greenbaum, Liu will be sharing sneak peeks of She Eats The Night and talking about Monstress, too.

After the panel, you can bring art or your favorite issue and get it signed by Liu at Table 1 (in Hall A) from 5:45 to 6:45. This signing is free and first-come-first-served. As the official bookseller of NYCC, Barnes & Noble will provide some books available for purchase if you don’t want to lug yours in or have only read her work via a library or online.

Can’t do Friday? No problem because she’s also participating on a Spotlight on AbramsComicArts from 1:30 to 2:30 (in room 408). Led by Editorial Director Charles Kochman, Senior Editor Greenbaum, and SVP, Publisher Andrew Smith, the panel with feature Liu, Mariko Tamaki, and Stephan Franck talking about their new work and more video reveals. The Saturday free signing with Liu takes place from 2:45 to 3:30.

Book one of The Night Eaters, She Eats the Night, comes out on October 11! You can pre-order online or find it at your local comic book store.

(featured image: Abrams Comicarts)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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