Here Comes Calico #1 of 8 SafHari-Kari
From Sigma Comics
Creator/Writer: H. H. German
Artist/Letterer: Javier Orabich
Colorist: Daniel Grimaldi
“He’s a one-man arsenal of destruction, in the constant pursuit of justice for the smallest and weakest among us.”
This is a brand-new comic and story from Sigma Comics. Unlike a number of other comic books and the typical mainstream plots, this comic book addresses a societal problem that exists across the globe and is truly something anyone with a conscience can get behind and support.
The issue addressed is one near and dear to my heart as I am a pet parent of five. We have four cats and a German Shepherd. The cats are a 12-year-old gray tabby, two Bengal cats (one 11 years old and one 7 years old), and an all-black Bombay that is about 6 years old. The German Shepherd is 3 years old. So, the idea of what this comic entails is, in part, truly horrifying.
The first page of the comic depicts a deplorable person violently abusing a sweet little dog while a child cries out for the abuser to show mercy to the animal in the background. This terrified and beaten dog appears on the page with scared, sad and desperate eyes, tears flowing from his eyes and blood spurting from his little nose and mouth. The pictures are utterly disturbing on one hand, but on the other it is a scene that many abuse victims see on a regular basis.
This is the introduction to the story of Calico, a man with one goal, one purpose, one mission…to exact justice on those that abuse and torture animals. Now, if you are thinking that sounds a little corny then you really should reserve forming an opinion until you actually see the comic book. This is far from corny or silly.
Truth be told, this is one angry man. He is incensed over the violence and utter cruelty inflicted on innocent animals. We all know it is wrong to physically impose one’s will on a smaller and weaker being. And we have all seen those commercials on TV about animal abuse. A lot of people change the channel when those commercials come on. Not only because they won’t or can’t afford to help or donate to the cause but also because they don’t want to see what is actually happening to these vulnerable, dependent creatures. However, this comic makes you face the problem, putting it out in print and picture right in front of your face.
Two things I feel really make this comic work are the spectacular artwork and the realism of the topic. The artwork is excellent and the artist has a talent for capturing facial expressions, which is very hard to do (in my opinion). The combination of color variations and bold, significant, intentional linework expertly depict the natural expression of emotion that is often missed in traditional comic book art, which usually seems to rely more on the written story than the visual story for emphasis on things like emotion. Furthermore, this is a real-life concern, unlike rabid vampires stalking the city streets or zombie attacks across the globe.
Being the first of eight issues (the second issue expected in March), I think this comic has a fantastic start on a story line that is only going to become more intense and emotionally charged as it moves forward. Most introductory issues are full of explanation and character intros, bogging them down in a bunch of boring text rather than getting to the nitty-gritty of the story right away. This comic plunges you into the deep from page one and makes you tread water against a massive and domineering current the whole way through to the last panel.
Although it is an emotional and sensitive subject, it is one that needs to be more widely addressed. According to the Humane Society there are over 144 million pet dogs and cats in this country. Many of those animals that are abused are often found in homes where there is spousal or child abuse present. According to the website www.humanesociety.org there is a commonality between those that abuse humans and those that abuse animals. This is presumably due to the personality of the offender, meaning that a person who is compelled to exert and impose their will over other people physically is probably comfortable doing the same to a small, helpless animal.
While this is what I consider true crime and real-life horror, I do feel that this comic book is a great way to open a dialogue about the issue. This is a medium that is becoming more popular as a way to get various messages and information across to people all over the world. It is a much more entertaining and moving option than simply seeing it on the TV screen.
Below is an excellent video interview from Zia Comics with the
creator of Here Comes Calico, H.H. German:
Other reviews of this comic:
Renderosity Magazine: https://magazine.renderosity.com/article/6230/comic-book-review-here-comes-calico-by-sigma-comics
BJ Kicks: https://youtu.be/W6uxFc5_HbM
Sarah Donner: https://youtu.be/tPBOpQxFelQ?t=1h53m17s
Purchase link: calico-landing
TRUE STORIES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF COVID-19
True Stories from the Front Lines of COVID-19
Foreword by Alyssa Milano
Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist & Cover Artist: Dalibor Talajić
Colorist & Cover Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Graphic Designer & Letterer: Bosung Kim
This is not only a heavy and emotional read, but a necessary one. For starters, the foreword is incredibly real, true and emotional; genuine and sincere. Ms. Milano opens up about not only her own struggles with the virus and the pandemic, but calls for attention and openness to the stories included in this collection, pointing out that they aren’t really so much to be enjoyed as they are meant to be shared and experienced. In order to come together we must understand our fellow citizens and their plights as well.
This collection features ten individual stories. These stories are from all different types of people from all different areas covering all different kinds of circumstances, experiences and situations with this deadly virus sweeping the globe.
ALL OF THESE EXPERIENCES HAVE ENORMOUS IMPACT AND CARRY INFINITE EMOTIONAL WEIGHT.
The telling of these experiences from all over brings the true sacrifice and tragedy of the pandemic to the absolute forefront, educating readers but also giving them insight to the darker side of what happens “behind the scenes” of the pandemic. While I agree with all my heart that we should celebrate these unsung heroes, who in the face of grave danger and death, also risk not only their lives but the lives of their families in order to treat, care for, protect and nurture OUR loved ones who we have put in their care, we must also bear witness to the challenges, struggles and tragedies that have resulted from this pandemic. It is a powerful step in the healing process for everyone. The experiences related are things that the average American wouldn’t probably know about unless they have direct access to events like these or direct involvement.
We SHOULD celebrate these incredible men and women that have kept us alive and kept our country moving. I believe that in order to do that we should also respect and acknowledge the very terrors they deal with and the effects that these experiences have on them. These are our fellow human beings. Surely, we can all agree that they deserve empathy and compassion. They deserve to have their stories told, acknowledged, heard and felt. This is a crisis that affects us all. And this collection of stories is pure proof of that.
These essential and life-saving front line workers are constantly doing everything in their power to help those stricken with this virus while looking for more ways to improve their care in addition to their usual patient care responsibilities and regular admitted patients for treatments and emergencies other than the COVID-19 virus. And they do all of this while severely understaffed, undersupplied and overworked and overstressed, deprived of sleep, of family contact, deprived of the very support of a social or familial support system that we all require to cope in times of tragedy.
The writer of these experiences was allowed direct and personal access to the individuals relating their stories but, also had personal contact with individuals who had front line experience with the pandemic. Each experience illustrated and written is full of the real-life fear and anxiety, the roller coaster of emotions as the days click by, the physical and psychological struggle on top of that emotional whirlwind that people feel and the reality that not all of us have survived or will survive this global pandemic.
But there is a certain sense of hope that you get out of knowing that there ARE people like this out there and that they are tirelessly, selflessly and courageously working for all of us here on Earth to get through this horrible pandemic. Though each story is heartbreaking and tragic in its own way, each gives specific insight into what has truly transpired and what are health care workers have been faced with. Getting up and going to work every day without proper protection, without proper equipment, without proper conditions, period, knowing that any of those days could be the day they contract this deadly virus…and possibly not survive. They did it and continue to do it now.
The artist is quite skilled at expressing the intensity of the emotions of each profound memory and experience. These are all circumstances that anyone could find something in this collection to relate to. And it is an excellent depiction of the severity and horror of the tragic health crisis that is upon us, mutating and grower stronger every day as we fight to stay alive against it.
For months now we have been told stats and numbers every day, morbidly titled data like the “death bill” shows the number of people lost to this virus each day, each hour, each minute, each few seconds. It’s very easy to change the channel or ignore what hasn’t directly affected you in such ways, giving in to the fatigue that has begun to set in for all of us. But this collection, chronicling the very people’s stories and experiences, makes it all much more real, much harder to ignore and much, much harder to deny that there is a global pandemic. There have been costly mistakes and over two million lives have been lost.
I believe this to be a creative and more accessible way to document the horror and terror this tragedy has unleashed upon us, not only as a nation but as a civilization, as a global society. It is informative, emotionally impactful and a necessary sharing of truth so that we as the general public may better understand what the struggles and problems are, how they are handled and the effect this has on not only the people that do the work but our civilization and society as a whole.