COMING OF AGE
Created by Tom Beland.
From multiple Eisner-nominated writer Tom Beland, comes the story of a girl…and the monster living inside her. After losing her father to tragedy and her mother to grief, Isabel “Izzy” Sanchez is just trying to make it through high school and move on with her life. But when she explores the catacombs under her hometown in Puerto Rico, she discovers a secret lab holding a mythical creature. Accidentally freeing the beast, she is surprised to find that it doesn’t want to hurt her—it wants to be her friend.
Seeing her as a kindred spirit, the chupacabra merges with Izzy, manifesting itself whenever she’s angry or anxious. After the creature saves her from a couple of human predators, Izzy names it Chicacabra and tries to teach her alter ego to be a functional member of society. Though Chicacabra proves difficult to manage, Izzy is glad to have a new friend.
A third-generation chupacabra researcher, Alejandro Chemo, investigates the carnage left behind by Izzy’s Chicacabra, finding a clue that leads him to her. He just wants to prove that chupacabras exist, and help Izzy understand her strange new powers. Convincing Izzy’s uncle Tony to let him assist in training the chupacabra, Chemo provides Izzy with some insight into the creature’s quirks and peccadillos. Much of the chupacabra’s behavior is a result of the fear and isolation of its former life—the same things the animal sensed in its new human counterpart.
Izzy has enough to worry about dealing with the pressures of high school and her fractured family, but now she has to contend with the untamed beast living inside her. Relying on Chemo and Uncle Tony for support, Izzy begins the slow process—fraught with missing pets and messy kitchens—of getting to know her monster.
From helping friends to righting wrongs, Izzy and Chicacabra share common goals and dreams. After a black market bug dealer swindles a classmate, Izzy and Chicacabra work together to see that justice is served. And when Chicacabra’s abilities present Izzy with the opportunity to obtain closure with her dying mother, she risks everything for the chance to say goodbye.
Witty, touching, funny, and sincere, Chicacabra is a coming-of-age comedic drama about a girl and the monster inside her—both literal and figurative. Stunned by incredible loss, Izzy lashes out at those close to her as she turns the pain inward. Learning to control the monster within teaches her to channel her emotions, and find inner peace amidst outer chaos.
A genre-bending character study, it’s a story about love, loss, redemption, and the monsters we all face, on the inside and the outside.