The latest Graphic Content roundup is full of action and adventure; some books are historically accurate, while others are totally fictional. There's an intimate memoir, like Fetch, which revolves around a woman and her “bad” dog and the surprise lessons that raising this challenging being offer about the woman's own life, and then there are larger-than-life historical narratives, like the artful tome that is Josephine Baker, which is not only a celebration of the star’s life, but also an illustrated history of America, Paris, and the people and places Baker knew throughout the early part of 20th century.
Every book featured here feels empowering and fresh and has characters who are okay with being uncomfortable in order to better discover their truths; the people who live within these pages learn to celebrate the things that make them unique, and then realize that these differences are exactly what makes them powerful.
And the variety of art styles available within these choices is pretty incredible, too! With nods to everything from the Golden Age of comic books to photo realistic illustration, each selection is distinct and remarkable. I was so impressed with every team involved with these stories, and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
Spell on Wheels (Dark Horse); story by Kate Leth, art by Megan Levens, colors by Marissa Louise, cover by Jen Bartel
I started this series because I was so excited to see how my beloved comic industry continues to expand the range of showcased narratives and is creating characters that reflect an abundance of audiences. Spell on Wheels is exactly the story I was looking for, starting with the cover art, which features the three witches you'll soon meet within the pages: Jolene Nguyen, Claire Bettany, and Andy Highsmith. Jolene is Asian-American and heavily tattooed (and queer!), Andy is bi-racial/black-appearing with curly hair and glasses, and Claire is full-figured. Each woman is incredible and clearly portrayed—on the cover and on every page that follows—as being different but equally strong as shit.
Legacy witches that went to the same college, Jolene and Claire, live together with Andy, who is also a legacy witch but whose powers are still developing. The troubles start when someone breaks into their home and steals a series of powerful talismans and magical objects. The items then start to appear on the magical black market, and the three witches set out on a road trip to collect what’s theirs and find the person responsible, all before the new moon. The story that follows feels almost like a Joss Whedon show in the best possible way, with instances of misogyny, homophobia, and some outdated beliefs rearing their ugly heads only to be snuffed out by our gals, who often use their magic to defeat problems, even though it’s their wits that are the true superpowers here.
This volume contains issues one to five and is the perfect intro to what is shaping up to be a really awesome series.