Created & Written by Justin Phillips
Illustrated by Di Lacerda
Lettered & Designed by Toben Racicot
Couple of things you need to know about this, A. this isn’t for the feint of heart B. adult themes and a flash of penis are seen and C. prepare yourself for the beginning of something extraordinarily graphic and compelling.
Honestly the subject matter here is something that’s incredibly hard to see and yet something that needs to be seen. Why because what happens here is not okay, people aren’t property they should never be treated as such. This is a powerful reminder of what people, more so women, go through when being bought and sold throughout the world.
So who is Miyoshi and how did she end up where she’s at when we open this book? It’s a valid question and one that we’ll learn throughout the three issues. What I do know is she’s a troubled girl who has an inner strength that she’ll need to channel if she’s to find a way to survive this experience. Still the kind of performance that Justin has Miyoshi deliver is utterly spectacular, strong as hell and could be ripped from the headlines. The way that this story is structured is great because it gives us glimpses, flashes of what life was like and what it is like now and how even the worst from before can been seen as the best of times.
Di Lacerda does this amazing work on the interiors. The use of page layouts through their angles and perspective are extremely nice to see. Even the use of backgrounds while not in every panel are used judiciously and with great effect. That we see a flash of Penis is great even if the circumstances behind it aren’t. I like that the work is expressive conveys emotions and feelings without the need for words.
This is a serious story that uses a myriad of tactics to tell. From the straight up kidnapped, drugged and used for sex hostage, to a little girl who misses her mother even a troubled teen who through defiance finds herself in a sticky place. There’s love, longing, hatred and indifference here that we see in such strong ways. There’s no way to read this without all the feelings and emotions hitting you like a ton of bricks. I felt sorry, rage and pity and most importantly hope reading the words and seeing the visuals. Hope such a great word and without all is lost right so as long as there is hope anything is possible.
I want to know how Miyoshi got to where she is right now. We get the tiniest of glances at how it could have happened but nothing concrete. We see her at so many stages of her life throughout this issue and you have to wonder how each one helped shape her. I mean she shouldn’t be anyone’s pushover but she’s trapped in a place she cannot escape. So is she dreaming of these lives as those she should have lived or are they memories of her past? The greatest mystery is we don’t know and that’s kind of fascinating to me. Just how how you as a reader look at it can be seen a few different ways and that’s strong storytelling.