In The Fox Sister, a Korean priestess hunts down the fox demon who stole her sister’s body

Illustration for article titled In The Fox Sister, a Korean priestess hunts down the fox demon who stole her sister’s body

Thanksgiving may have put you knee-deep in family dysfunction, but at least your sister isn't a people-eating fox demon. In the webcomic The Fox Sister, a young girl witnesses the death of her entire family at the paws of a nine-tailed fox and seeks revenge on the demonic killer. The only catch? The fox is now wearing her sister's body.


Young Yun Hee wakes one night to find her sister Sun Hee missing from their room. When she goes to look for her, she comes across a gory sight: her entire family being devoured by a nine-tailed fox. Yun Hee survives with supernatural help, but when she wakes, the fox demon is by her hospital bed, wearing her sister's body.

Years later, Yun Hee is living in Seoul as a mudang, a shaman in the traditional Korean Muist religion, and she's still looking for her sister. Scarred inside and out, Yun Hee is prickly and friendless, which makes the advances of Alex, an American Christian missionary, all the more unwelcome. But Yun Hee is still looking for Sun Hee, and Alex may be the bridge between them.

Comics colorist Christina Strain created The Fox Sister with artist Jayd Aït-Kaci, and it is indeed the most beautifully colored comic I've ever seen. But the comic also promises some deeper themes in its story. The title comes from a Korean legend that warns of the dangers of women. And the comic is set in the 1960s, a time when Christianity was taking hold in South Korea. The Fox Sister may well explore the relationship between Korea's fading indigenous beliefs and the rise of Western religion.

[The Fox Sister]


Christianity was taking root far before the 1960s. It's just that it didn't explode in popularity until after the Korean War but without the constant flow of missionaries and the base Christians established in Korea prior to that, it probably wouldn't be as big as it is now (Buddhism is still the majority religion). It certainly is different from Japan where Shinto is still big. The difference probably is primarily in that Korea went through a period where Westernization was an all-time craze; many sought to completely do away with Korean traditions and replace them with Western culture, but that movement eventually died down and a movement for a return to tradition replaced it. What resulted is what Korea pretty much has now, a mix between the two. Japan has been more resilient to cultural change for better or for worse.

It's interesting that the bits in Korean are still romanized. Makes it fun reading them.