All this month I'll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Check out the archive to see what books have been spotlighted so far.
Today we look at R.R.H. #1 by Orlando Harding (creator/writer), Andres Esparza (penciler), Ulises Curiel (inker) and Kyle David Ritter and Steve Cobb (colorists)...
R.R.H. is based on a concept so clever that, no offense to Orlando Harding, it must have come up before, right? Like in one of those Grimm Fairy Tales comics? Or something like that? The idea is that the Big Bad Wolf that Little Red Riding Hood fought in her story was actually an alpha werewolf. That's an awesome idea. Even if it is not original to this comic, it is a great idea. And if it IS original to this comic, then even more impressive!
This first issue opens up with Sydney Woodman waking up on her seventeenth birthday. She thinks it is a typical birthday (besides her parents springing for a car for her in an awesome scene where Esparza smartly goes to a sort of cartoonish style for their celebration - it was very cute), but what she doesn't know is that she has now reached the age where the big bad wolves are going to be coming for her...
Her parents explain to her that she is a descendant of Red Riding Hood and is therefore meant to fight off the destroyers (or the wolves or whatever, you get the idea). She is given a protective hood, a katana and a special gun. In a great bit, her mother explains to her that this is what they had her train as a hunter and as a marksman for her whole life. She remarks, "I thought we were just rednecks!"
Esparza and Curiel do a really strong job on the character work in the story - I love the distinct body types for the characters, in particular Sydney's father, who looks like he is right out of central casting for a biker gang leader (he is also part of another funny recurring gag, as he gets her her sword and hood and guns, he keeps bending over and his butt crack keeps popping out, grossing his daughter out - it's a nice piece of levity). Ritter and Cobb's colors are good.
Harding has created an intriguing world for Sydney and the destroyers. I especially liked the little bit about how the big bad wolves really love to eat cats, so the Woodmans keep buying cats to work sort of as decoys/canary in a coal mine. It's morbid but pragmatic and I love it.
Anyhow, if you are a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayers and concepts of that ilk, than R.R.H. is the comic for you!