Review: Milk for the Ugly (Madefire)

Milk For Ugly coverStarting life on deviantArt, Madefire’s newest indie horror motion book Milk for the Ugly has been downloaded over 400,000 times – but is this digital horror offering worthy of it’s promotion to the main app’s storefront?

Milk For Ugly coverPublisher: Madefire
Writer/Artist/Colours: Kate Redesiuk & Anna Podeworna
Price: Free from the Madefire app for iOS, Windows and Android

Milk for the Ugly by Kate Redesiuk and Anna Podeworna began life as a project on deviantArt and, since being added to the Madefire stable of books, has gone on to become one of the best-selling digital comics of all time. In just four days it outsold pretty much all of it’s competition on the Madefire app, including character heavyweights such as Batman, Hellboy and Transformers.

Milk for the Ugly is at heart a very simple tale. We are invited into a typical, dark, bustling city and everyone is going about their usual business. Crowds shuffle by, heads hung low ignoring the world around them. Your ears are enveloped by the sound of cityscape chatter and sirens. It is here we meet Mrs Abney.

Mrs Abney is an lone old lady, working unnoticed as a cleaner. She works to be able to look after the ‘Uglies’ living in her flat. The Uglies are a swarm of little black creatures that thrive in the dwellings darkest recesses, creating a bad smell and air of unpleasantness. Mrs Abney’s neighbours have decided enough-is-enough and call in a social worker to erdaicate their problem. This happy social worker arrives, not knowing what lies within the flat and the danger awaiting him.

Milk for the Ugly asks many questions about the world we live in today. Our uncaring attitudes and innate selfishness. From rude little girls, to nasty neighbours, everyone is looking out for themselves. It is only the lonely Mrs Abney (who is saving the world from the creatures) and the poor social worker, who try to help others and it doesn’t end well for him. Should we, the human race look at the ugliness inside ourselves before it’s too late?

The only downside to this superb story, Kate and Anna have left  Milk for the Ugly feeling somewhat unfinished. There is a conclusion but it leaves the reader with more questions than answers. We can only hope that this is their way of leaving things open for a second instalment.

Where the story is simple the artwork certainly is not. This is possibly the most complete Motionbook build to date. The characters are designed to look Manga-esque and friendly but thanks to the drab, painted colouring retain a somewhat European feel. The colours are unsaturated, with brown hues that are punctured only by the bright reds and blackness of the ‘Uglies’. Milk for the Ugly makes great use of depth-of-field, moving and building the artwork up in many layers to draw you in. This is where the Uglies get you – they’re horrific and used to great effect.

pd_review5“Milk for the Ugly is a phenomenon, a milestone in digital comics. A simple, yet twisted, gnarly fairytale for the modern age. Half a million people have already immersed themselves into the world of the ‘Uglies’ – what are you waiting for?”