Where do we place our moral compass when our safety at risk? It’s one thing to fight for our dreams, but it’s another thing to fight for survival. Warpaint is an indie comic about about three girls – Sophie, Michelle, and Selene – whose lives are about to change.
Selene is the leader of the group, with confident, liberal points of view. Her two other friends, however, are quite the opposite. Michelle is a lackey on Selene’s side, while Sophie is quiet and logical. Together, they attend an ordinary high school with a class bully and even a misogynistic teacher.
To Michelle and Sophie, Selene is the girl who can stand up to anyone who comes her way. She fights for her beliefs and will stop at nothing to be just like her hippie mother. However, everything changes when she crosses the line with the bully!
Character Evolution and Purple Paint
Before I go any further, keep in mind that Warpaint contains graphic language, minors using drugs, violence, and gore. This comic might not be suitable for young readers. That said, I personally think the story has a great start.
While the plot is told from Sophie’s point of view, I find myself a bit bored when looking at the world through her eyes. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t a bad character at all. In fact, she seemed to have grown a lot from her time with Selene. I’m even beginning to wonder how she became the adult she turned out to be in issue #1.
However, I feel that Michelle’s habit of questioning loyalty and her changing focus would have been useful for storytelling. I understand that Sophie’s point of view gives the perspective of someone in the background. Nevertheless, I worry that Sophie’s evolution will have no positive meaning at the end of this story.
Still, I appreciate Kev Sherry’s and Katia Vecchio’s storytelling in Warpaint. When they go from one scene to the next, they make sure that every panel connects back to Sophie’s mindset.
If Sophie has fun or feels comfortable around her friends, the colors in the background begin to match her true personality. We begin to see the person she really is. But when we see her as an adult, she ends up in a reality that makes her second guess herself.
I love the stark separation that they use to define Sophie. If painting the world pink and purple defines Sophie’s happiness, paint me purple as well!
Who we’re supposed to be…
But with all that the story has to offer, I worry that the main message in Warpaint discourages others from pursuing their own beliefs. To Kev Sherry and Katia Vecchio: I love the message you are both delivering. Knowing when to blend in and when to stand up for yourself is a hard part of growing up.
Even more, it’s hard to know who we’re supposed to be when we can’t accept the flaws of others. However, there are points in the story that make me stop and think. If I were to have written this story, I would question why something can and cannot work.
I may sound like a historian, but I think the best creators are the ones who can look through multiple lenses and acknowledge everything. Focusing more of the plot on that might greatly benefit Warpaint as a comic.
Crisp and Clear Shadows
As usual, this review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t look at the more aesthetic parts of the comic. Luckily, the artwork in Warpaint is nicely drawn out. The creators don’t shy away from actually creating characters, meaning we have memorable protagonists to work with as we read through the story.
We’ve already mentioned the colors, but those are only a part of what makes a comic interesting. The shadows in Warpaint are also crisp and clear. I can clearly see the emotions on every character’s face. The body parts of the characters are also pretty proportionate, therefore I don’t have much to complain about there.
In the end, I was pretty content with what Warpaint has to offer. The story is off to a good start. The events are captivating enough and the connection between art and plot is well done. I find the subtle themes in the story to be interesting and I could expect good things from the next chapters.
If you liked what you’ve seen in this review. Consider giving Warpaint a chance to impress you even more. The entire series is available on comiXology – each volume is 1,99$ or your regional equivalent – and you can buy them right from this link!