A webcomic by cartoonist Xan is making waves as a unique Trans themed dystopia story, and its wonderful characters and world make it a must-read
The world of webcomics has given readers some of the most wonderful stories with Trans themes, but Pandora’s Tale is a revolutionary comic that’s an absolute must-read. It’s needless to say that the internet has been a great place for voices from the Trans community to get their ideas out there. From a story by The Kao focusing on a Trans boy discovering that he’s part of a long lineage of magical girls to a series of autobiographical slices of Julia Kaye’s life, Trans creators have given some of the best works in the comics industry available from the comfort of readers’ homes. However, one ongoing comic series is breaking the mold by providing a familiar story with an interesting Trans twist that makes it feel fresh.
Xanthippe Hutcheon, or Xan for short, is a Trans woman who has a passion for creating comics. For years now, she has been working on the series Comics by Xan on her social media to give readers a humorous look at her life and observations in her unique style. There are a wide range of topics that she covers, and at times she’s not afraid to take a look at more serious moments. She still creates new comics for the series to this day. Beginning in 2019 though, she began sharing what would become her ella passion project that’s still in the midst of a continuing arc.
Pandora’s Tale is a series following Pandora, a catgirl known as a Helper created by a dystopian government in the future. She’s programmed to serve her de ella Master or Mistress de ella, depending on who buys her. The big difference between her and her though is that she’s Trans, and the government is planning to wipe her memory of her to make her fit into the role they want her to fill. Rather than letting that happen, she escapes and finds herself among a band of rebels, including Isabelle, another Trans woman who takes her in from her. From there, the series follows her de ella adventures as they let her help in the fight and be seen as the girl she was always meant to be.
This is a unique take on the common dystopia story in ways that become clearer as the series progresses. Pandora is n’t a character that rebels instantly when she escapes from her sellers of her. She still has years of programming built into her that has her doing things that she does not quite realize are wrong. Choosing to focus on a character that was once a part of the oppressive government is an interesting decision because it allows the reader to see Pandora’s side of things as she’s on the outside looking in. Just like her, the reader is thrust into this world that they’re unfamiliar with, so they’re learning about the resistance just as much as Pandora is. This provides a fascinating new perspective on this story because it allows for a more personal look at how Pandora changes.
For Xan, she sees this story as a tale about “Trans identity, resistance, friendship, and catgirls“according to her official website. Based on the first seven chapters that can be read for free now on her Facebook, Twitter, and other social media; she succeeds at this tenfold as she crafts loveable characters in an interesting and ever-expanding world. She has recently stated that chapter 8 is nearly finished and will be available soon, but she also made an exciting announcement on May 11th that the first seven chapters now have a physical copy that can be purchased online, through Blurb. It’s an exciting time to begin reading this story as the future for Pandora’s Tale seems bright, and with it so readily available for anyone to check out, it’s a revolutionary read that needs to be seen.
Next: Julia Kaye’s Up and Out Is a Personal Look at Life in Transition
Sources: Comics by Xan, Facebook, TwitterBlurb
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