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Zawa + The Belly of the Beast #1 (of 5)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 6 critic ratings.

Trapped inside her mountain by pollution-spewing factories, the guardian spirit Zawa only has industrial waste to eat, leading her to a bitter existence of paranoia and destruction.

But when two siblings from a nearby village help her escape, they’ll quickly learn that the way to calming Zawa’s heart is through a well nourished stomach!

GLAAD Award-winning and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist Michael Dialynas (Wynd, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) crafts a charmingly macabre eco-fable about nature, greed, the dangers of retribution, and good food shared among friends.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
25 pages
Amazon ASIN

6 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Derby Comics

    This is an epic debut from a master creator at the top of his game. I can’t recommend this issue enough and I’m counting down the days until I can feast my eyes on what comes next.

  • 95


    All-ages friendly, Zawa + The Belly of the Beast is packed to the gills with imaginative ideas and exciting visuals. An endearing quality permeates the work, making you fall in love with it all, never wanting to leave Dialynas incredible world.

  • 82

    Graphic Policy

    In Zawa #1, writer/artist Michael Dialynas puts a colorful and unique spin on the dystopian genre. He crafts a world centered around processed food and a feast honoring a corrupt mayor that screams factory town, but has a little bit of a Nintendo aesthetic. For example, the mayor looks like a Kirby baddie. The protagonists of Zawa run a bakery and try to scrounge together fresh food and remember a time when food was art and not just convenience. It all leads to some good trouble involving the aforementioned beast of the comic who is this series’ wild card. Dialynas handles coloring and lettering duties using colored font any time a character mentions a “rare” ingredient as well as bursts of brightness any time they have a breakthrough. The whole thing ends up being a visually charming version of a well-trodden genre.

  • 70

    Zawa and the Belly of the Beast is an ambitious, expressive, but sometimes slow tale about food, friendship, and greed. The new comic, written and drawn by Michael Dialynas, suffers from the occasional tonal whiplash and struggles to coherently establish the wider world of the comic but still shines with some strong characterization, mood, and exceptional lettering work that really emphasizes the predominant theme of the comic, which is food and friendship. Ultimately, the opening issue does enough to intrigue that most readers will want to pick up the next issue.

  • 70

    Major Spoilers

    I like the story’s premise, and I think it has a lot of promise, but I wonder if a single issue is enough page count to introduce an ensemble cast while also getting to the inciting incident. Maybe all first issues should be double-sized to give the space these books need. I am optimistic that we will become more attached to the characters with more pages in future issues.

  • 60

    First Comics News

    This issue mainly introduces the main characters. Thatch and Zawa so far come across as great characters that are entertaining to see. We need to know more about what is happening in this city and why things are the way they are.

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