Writer: Kev Sherry
Illustrator: Katia Vecchio
WHAT IS IT?
A 4-issue miniseries about growing up, examining feminism and institutionalized anti-feminism/misogyny.
It's a little like a melancholic Mean Girls meets Now and Then.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Warpaint is a tragic tale of tragedy and betrayal surrounding a strong girl, Selene, who was feared by a society who wasn’t ready for her.
Because Selene is a confident, good person, she stands up to the school bully when he and his friends threaten other kids. Unfortunately for Selene, this bully won't back down so easily.
We know something happens to her, judging from the present day, when the story starts. But Warpaint is about the events leading up to that.
It's also a touching story about being young and growing up.
The opening lines are an immediate hook, capturing your attention from the start and making you want to read more
Each of the characters, their personalities, politics, and motivations, are all nuanced and unique from each other, yet relatable
The cast is led by three 16-year-olds who are drawn like teens and not like sexy 25-year-olds; between them and supporting characters, we also see representation of other races and body types
The issues our characters deal with feel authentic and valid to their age and sex, but also serve to pose questions about activism vs. slacktivism, the idea of feminism meaning different things for different women, and how comfort and privilege may prevent us from standing up for what's right
Katia Vecchio's elegantly drawn line work is clean and deliberate, and her plotting is thoughtful and planned, working well with Kev Sherry's writing for extremely tight storytelling
I apreciate how Sherry & Vecchio pay attention to micro-aggressions through both verbal ("you cow") and body language
Vecchio uses simple color that doesn't seem overwrought or out of place, often with limited palettes for each page. The colors complement each other beautifully, like a finely curated room in a magazine.
Vecchio uses strong, yet subtle environmental juxtaposition between Sophie in the present and the way she looks in the past. Sometimes, she simply changes the palette from pink to blue.
The lettering is thick and easy to read. The letters purposely don’t all align perfectly, creating a slightly messy, chaotic feel, perfect for a story about growing up.
The sound effects are all incorporated into the art, making for an immersive, cohesive reading experience
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Cursing, smoking, marijuana, nudity, blood, violence, and also a trigger warning for r*pe mean it's not for everyone, but I still think it's an important read both for teens and adults
Even though this is coming from a strongly feminist place, the story could still be viewed by some as an example of "Women in Refrigerators"
Hard to credit anyone for color or lettering because it wasn't mentioned in the comic (thought I usually assume it was the illustrator who handles those duties if unmentioned)
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Warpaint is extremely well-crafted and engrossing as hell. Both a cautionary tale and a triumph for feminism, Warpaint is one of the strongest indie comics of 2019. It should be required reading for teens everywhere.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley & Leslie Hung
If you like the art:
Wild Strawberries at The World's End by Bruce Kim & Katia Vecchio
Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Blankets by Craig Thompson
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Kev Sherry – Writer
Multitalented: Is the lead singer/songwriter for indie band, Attic Lights
Outlander: Lives in the UK
Plans to release a solo album along with his debut novel, "Here Be Apples"
Katia Vecchio – Artist
Outlander: Hails from Italy
Seems to enjoy working in watercolor and tempera, but is also skilled with other media
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Kev Sherry & Katia Vecchio characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Kev Sherry & Katia Vecchio or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED