DMFA – Abel’s Story
I’ve long been a fan of Amber William’s fantasy anthropomorphic comic Dan and Mab’s Furry Adventures, both for her deft mixture of humor and storytelling elements (dramatic and comedic) and for a cast of characters that come alive under her pen. It is this latter aspect that has brought the comic to life for me, both among the primary cast and with the secondary characters that have filled the benches. Abel, an incubi who is reluctantly helping the main character Daniel learn how to use his own innate abilities, quickly became a fan favorite and was selected by fans to learn more of his background in his very own spinoff comic.
In many ways Abel’s Story is a more mature story than DMFA; Amber has rated it NC-14 for swearing and violence (no nudity, because everyone knows that unclothed fur-covered characters are much more offensive to society’s sensibilities than blood and gore). That’s not to say that the comic is dour and depressing; the early strips showing Abel’s childhood are rather sweet, and while Abel’s first 24 years might not have been idyllic, much of Abel’s childhood was a happy one. Naturally, it is the fall from this Eden that makes Abel’s Story so intriguing… and also gave us a glimpse at aspects of Amber William’s world that is not often seen in the main comic.
While the comic can get wordy at times (with several exposition-filled comics that fortunately do show glimpses of what’s being dictated to both Abel and the readers), there are a number of tidbits in Abel’s Story that are quite interesting. Amber William has managed to flesh out the world that DMFA takes place in, both with the Cubi Academy (which DMFA only briefly touched upon) and the greater world of DMFA. What’s more, this side story also manages to touch upon the greater conflict between beings (ordinary sentients) and creatures (the uber-powered “monsters” that includes the fae, dragons, cubi, and others), which has only recently been coming into focus in DMFA as a whole. Abel’s Story is self-contained and there’s no need to read the expansive archives of DMFA in order to understand what’s going on. What’s more, it’s a well-written and -drawn story, and definitely worth reading.