Warning: this title comes equipped with a graphic attempt at sexual assault, which maybe triggering to some readers. If you or someone you know is in need of sexual assault resources, click here.
I love stories and always have. Some are entertaining and fun and some will stick with you for the rest of your days. Warpaint belongs to the latter category. There are definitely some hard scenes to get through in this four part comic book series, including a graphic scene with an attempted rape. But everything in Warpaint is meant to make clear how hard it can be to fight against cruelty, oppression, and shame but how necessary it is at the same time. It’s a message handled so well by the creators of this heartfelt work of fiction.
Warpaint tells the tragic tale of three high school female friends who live in Scotland. Their leader is Selene, a confident and passionate young woman who refuses to be intimidated and has a fervent desire to stand up for her beliefs. She is especially passionate about the equality of women. When Selene is pushed too far by misogynistic men at school and conformist adults in authority positions she decides to stage a daring protest. Namely for her and her friends to paint their faces with what women have been made to feel ashamed of for millennia, their menstrual blood. But it doesn’t prove to be the revolution Selene had hoped for.
Warpaint stands out as a truly all encompassing narrative, regardless of gender identification, which is what makes it so beautiful. Touching scene such as when the three young women are joined by three nerdy male classmates as they all fantasize about a world where they don’t have to feel ashamed or be afraid really resonate. Another of the many tender moments this saga brings is when a young man talks about his experiences with unwanted sodomy. Such scenes as these show that all genders and people suffer when we live in a world of fear and dominance. The villain of the story is even shown to be a victim of behavior that is rooted in toxic machoism and using sexual relations as a power status.
The writing by Kev Sherry is on point from beginning to end. From the first page of the story you feel the weight of it and instantly feel connected to these characters. The art by Katia Vecchio beautifully compliments the story. It lends a child like innocence that juxtaposes wonderfully with the harshness of the events unfolding. It ends up grounding everything and making all that is said so much louder and more profound.
I am honored to review this mini-series for Victims and Villains because it fits so well with Victims and Villains’ message. The world can be very hard. We run to fantasy worlds sometimes because the world isn’t how we want it to be. But through hope and connecting with one another we can find the strength to make the world a more loving place. A place where we can be ourselves.
Although feminism plays a big part in Warpaint the story goes beyond just women’s rights. It instead demonstrates how allowing women to be who they are completely and wholly is part of a fight that allows us all to be who we are completely and wholly. And once we can all find our true voice and stand as we truly are unashamed then we can truly live. Warpaint is a call to action to stand up for who you are as well standing up for the right of others to be who they are.
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Credits: Warpaint is property of Makeo Media. We do not own nor claim any rights.