Malleus Maleficarum

The Malleus Maleficarum was a witch-hunting bible written in 1487 by a couple of fanatical Catholic clergyman—Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger—and used at various times during the late-Middle Ages and the Renaissance to justify the prosecution and killing of women accused of being witches. Chico cartoonist Mike Rosen (who is also a marketing rep for Videomaker magazine) has brought Malleus back in the form of a creative and playful graphic novel. Rosen’s story is an exciting satire of the original Malleus and tells how Kramer and Sprenger created this instruction manual for identifying and trying witches. Utilizing a fun graphic style (reminiscent of expressive big heads from the The Fairly OddParents cartoon), Rosen shows women of the time in their imagined evil, engaged in witchy acts such as killing and boiling babies or removing the genitals of men and hiding them in the nests of trees in the forest. Rosen’s work portrays the original Malleus as an effort by sadistic and fearful men to harass and kill women who were seen as “different.” It is a humorous look back at one of the darker times in human history.