Updated on 16 October, 2021
Zoophobia is an online comic originally released in 2021 by Vivienne Medrano. It follows an young girl named Cameron who goes to an interplanetary safe zone called Safe Haven. There, she teams up with Mo, a human-like creature who can empathize with animals. The two form an uneasy alliance as they work to protect Earth from an invasion of killer dinosaurs. If you like your sci-fi/comic reading with a little romance, this one is not for you.
I started reading Zoophobia Comic after seeing an animated short based on it that was showing at one of my friend's parties. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it since it was being run by an animated short production company, but then after seeing some of their other projects, I knew it would be worth a look. As it turns out, I wasn't alone in my opinion that this webcomic was really funny. Like many others, I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit during each panel.
The premise of the comic is that in every dimension there exists a unique breed of human being, referred to as "zoids." Humans are classified as one of three "races," the Frostborn, the Warmblood, and the insectoid. Humans who belong to the Warmblood sub-species are believed to be born with a natural instinct to protect the humans they live with. They have been able to overcome the original race's natural instincts in order to rise above other species and become the dominant species on Earth. Those who are considered Insectoid, or cold-blooded, have been born with an ability to produce and store heat in their body that makes them great candidates for leadership roles on earth.
In the midst of all this is the predicament of Jay, a young man from the insectoid sub-species. He is forced to relocate from his home on Earth to a new land called Winter City, populated by the Warmbloods. The city has set up a system of bars, nightclubs, and ice cream stores where those who belong to the Frostborn race can get drinks and food. One of these nightclubs is called The Rapture Project, and it is run by a man named Raptor. The owner, a human woman named Kayla, intends to use the money from the bars for funding to build a society for the Frostborn and bring them to a higher level of existence on Earth. However, a storm occurs, and Jay finds himself trapped inside the Rapture sub-level with a group of other escapees.
Fortunately for Jayjay, he meets Mondo, a demon who possesses the ability to read minds. The two form a team to defeat the bad guys, but they must first learn about their pasts if they are to stop the demons from taking over the city. For this reason, Jay and Mondo form the basis of the story in Zoophobia Comic.
As the story unfolds, you begin to see a pattern emerge about the people in the various stages of their lives. At the beginning, there is Jay, a normal, average young man living in a suburban home with his family. Shortly after he leaves home, he starts to develop strange doubts about his sexuality. When his parents discover that he is gay, Jay flees home, eventually being captured by the malevolent spider demon who inhabits the city. Here, you meet the other inhabitants of this surreal place including a vicious polar bear, a sexy mermaid, a bald eagle, and a green lizard who can only be described as "gnome".
As the story unfolds, the reader begins to learn more about Jay's situation, as well as about the people he interacts with in his day-to-day life. Jay's biological father, a renowned researcher on demonic possession, tries to help him free of the demon, but is killed by it instead. His best friend kayla, however, becomes infected with a demon that causes her to slowly lose her mind and become an insane killing machine. Finally, Jay's biological mom, a powerful witch who has always disapproved of his homosexuality, attacks him and tries to drive him to death, but is saved by the other resident of this unique, alternate world, the arctic fox, whom Jay quickly takes under his wing.
In this multi-dimensional web comic, you will find more plot twists and turns than you could ever think to expect. I personally enjoyed reading about the supernatural aspects of vivziepop's story, along with learning about the different aspects of lesbian relationships in a wholesome way. In a way, I found myself relating to Kayla, the gay girl in my family, and her struggle to find true love despite her illness, while also finding the strength within herself to love another openly. In particular, the way VivziePop shares stories of her relationship with the deceased Kayla creates a humorous bridge between their existences. At the same time, VivziePop's use of fantasy as a means of exploring lesbian relationships makes this book appropriate for both younger and older readers, while bringing out the humanity of the characters at the same time.