Lovefool 04.22.13 | Be Bright for Unico

A plucky young unicorn reminds us all that it’s important to always look on the bright side of life in this classic title from Osamu "God of Manga" Tezuka.

 

Nerdlings! I’ve missed you. But, goodness, it’s been a rough little bit, hasn’t it? Never mind the trainwreck that my very own personal life has been lately, last week was epically bad on a national scale. Global, really. In fact, we were scheduled to return last week, I had most of this review written and then Boston happened and JG,FE had homework and…well, it feels shallow, sometimes, still, writing this column when there is so much other stuff to think about. Plus, to be honest, I just wasn’t feeling it. Mr. BFF and I have been using the term Urban Reacclimation Fatigue to describe what’s going on in my brain since moving back. A friend of mine, a seasonal one, said that this city will break your heart every day if you let it and while this ain’t my first time at this rodeo, it was hard coming back. Maybe I was sheltered in Omaha. Maybe I was just having trouble adjusting to the idea that this is my life forever now, this bit of world that I’m rediscovering. Either way, I spent a couple weeks crying my way home from work and my commute is a nightmare to begin with.
 
But I’ve shared it with you a thousand times and maybe I just needed to remember the secret: you have to acknowledge the bad and then choose to focus on the good. Which isn’t to say you need to pretend that the world is a universally happy place. No, I’m not saying that at all. Take a moment to consider the bad stuff out there in the world and then fight it. Fight it with everything you’ve got in the very best way to help your heart along. Donate money to a good cause, have a beer with a friend, surround yourself with positivity—whatever you’ve got, use it. Because it’s the only way we’re all going to survive. If you want light in the world, sometimes you have to make it yourself.
 
Of course, I write about comics, comics about love, specifically, and I appreciate a good yarn where the light just literally drops out of the sky and I’ve kind of been in a weird place and so Unico got me right in the feels. Like, sniffling into a cat and everything. Unico is the tale of a magical unicorn sentenced to forever roam the cosmos by Venus, who is a total hosebeast because she’s “the goddess of beauty and it is a cruel thing to be beautiful”, is bittersweet in all the best ways. The book is brought to us via another DMP Kickstarter and is another long-overdue release from Osamu Tezuka. JG,FE always reminds us that Mr. Tezuka is the God of Manga and he’s really flexing it in Unico and, fortunately for us, DMP is sharing and Unico is widely available now to those of us who missed out on the Kickstarter. (And speaking of Kickstarter, you have all kicked in to the Pretentious Record Store Guy Kickstarter, yes?)
 
Unico lives in beautiful worlds, all cotton-candy colored like all my favorite books, and deals in love and nonsense and spreading his own little light wherever he goes. Carried from world to world by the kindly Zephyr after being banished by the aforementioned lunatic Venus to punish his owner, Psyche, for being pretty, Unico spreads love and saves the day, or at least makes it end a little easier. He typically has just enough time to see a happy ending start to happen before being swept up again and forgetting the people and places he just knew. In one part of his tale, Unico stops Titania from keeping an orphaned sphinx as a pet because Unico promised his mother he’d pass on her dying wish to tell her son to grow up to be a strong, sturdy sphinx and that’s not the way to go about it. In another, he saves a cat whom the wrong man had fallen in love with after Unico turned her into a girl for an hour a day to help an old beggar woman the cat had mistaken for a witch. When she discovered her mistake and that she couldn’t be a witch’s cat, she asked Unico to teach her magic herself. She ended up doing chores instead before getting kidnapped and eventually meeting a handsome boy cat while he was all gussied up as a human to act as a member of her rescue party. This is a bit of an omnibus with many stories like that. Each story is self-contained, detailed and has a mostly-happy ending. So, naturally, I adore it, and right now I think we could all use a little more mostly-happy in our lives.
 
So, let us go forth and be Unicos. Fix something. Be it something in your own life that’s causing your light to not shine quite as bright or doing some good for someone far, far away or right next door—there is something you can do to make your world a better place. If you need inspiration, hopefully I’ve given you a hint as to where to find some. Either way, I’m back, nerdlings, and I want you to try to make the world a brighter place this week, for ourselves and everyone else and for Unico ’cause he’d want us to. | Erin Jameson

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