Here comes calico
calico is a new indie comic book character that is different from anything that has come before – not your traditional superhero, but an antihero. His crusade? Revenge on those who abuse and kill animals. Hector Gil, aka Calico, is a retired boxer and mixed martial artist from the streets of the Bronx. As a man driven by his passion for animals, he is willing to go further than most to protect them. Much further.
Writer HH German and artist Javier Orabich combine their talents to deliver an action-packed series of eight books that will satisfy lovers of graphic storytelling. But these aren’t your grandfather’s (or your child’s, or even your teen’s) comics. “Calico” stories are graphic, violent, and uncensored – for a mature audience only.
Deutsch explains his approach to combating animal abuse, a topic that has not yet been explored in comics: “The audience for these persistent stories are millennials – a generation that is used to tackling problems head on, be it racial injustice, environmental disaster or animal abuse . “
Unlike previous generations who often sought to mitigate the horrors of contemporary tragedies by bypassing difficult subjects, Calico’s creators get to the heart of the matter and don’t look the other way. Your antihero is not satisfied with just catching villains and tying them up so that the police can bring them back (à la Batman). He calls for his own form of vigilante justice, which itself raises moral questions.
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“I called it Calico because it’s white, black, and Indian. White, brown and black – these are the three colors of calico. “
– SH German
The publisher responsible for Calico is Sigma Comics, an independent upstart, also founded by HH German. A long-time comic fan, a German who believes in the power of the medium to connect with young people, looks back with admiration on the “golden years” of comic publishing.
Sigma Comics not only ventures into unknown editorial topics and offers underserved communities a voice, but is also dedicated to other innovations, such as lowering the cost of individual titles and maintaining independence from the prevailing comic industry, which for many is “Hollywood” has become. “Sigma is a throwback to the classic art of comic storytelling, old school publishing with an added dose of idealistic entrepreneurship.
This reader will appreciate the approach taken by the creators of Calico. It’s a compelling story on a subject that doesn’t get nearly enough coverage in the media: animal abuse. With their dark, shady graphics (excellent work by Orabich) and current focus, the “Calico” stories feel timely in a way that the genre seldom achieves.
It is not for everyone. If your advocacy is more in line with Sarah McLachlan’s Animal Cruelty campaigns, then these somber stories should be avoided. But you may know someone who relates to a vengeful cartoon crusader. If so, Calico (to paraphrase another antihero who isn’t afraid to push boundaries) will celebrate their day!