Antarctic Press 2020
Based on Actual Events
Written by Matthew Spradlin
Illustrated by Farid Karami
Pencil Assists by William Allan Reyes
Coloured by Andrew Crossley
The TRUE STORY of a 15-year-old streetwise girl named Janie XXXXX. Back in 1978, Janie left behind her abusive past in small-town Ohio and hitchhiked to L.A. There she soon found out neighbor's business was all about cocaine. For the next eight years, Janie worked to hustle cocaine for the Cartel at clubs and parties, selling to the rich, famous and powerful. Then she decided to stop selling, and the trouble started. The bright lights of the big city make this rainbow holo-foil shine even more! All you urban cowboys and girls who just wanna have fun are gonna want yourself a piece of this!
Well this is a first for me because I have no idea of the original story and I didn’t even try to look it up. I want to enjoy this, all three issues, before I look up the real life events as I don’t want anything to spoil this for me. What Matthew has done here is amazing to me. The way that this is written and how it is able to connect with the reader along with how well the “then & now” storytelling is being utilised really makes for a powerful read. I like that as well because you feel for Janie and her siblings and you can see how the events of her life get her to where she is. It is easy to feel a connection to her based on what we see and then some because the way she is portrayed here.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through the sequence of events unfolding as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. The way that this is structured so that the flow that we get is just incredible. It is a joy to read and see how the past and present and how they don’t match per se but they demonstrate a lot about who she is. This is part of the character development that we see and I love it because there is no mistaking the kind of girl and woman Janie is and how far she’s willing to go. She’s definitely a champion in my book. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story and her world it’s easy to see how everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
I really like the interiors that we see here. The linwork is really strong and how we see the varying weights being utilised to showcase the detail work is extremely well rendered. I think that backgrounds are being utilised really well and I like how they bring us this depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope of the story. Also I like the way we see faces and facial expressions here as they do wonders in furthering the characterisation. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a stellar eye for storytelling. The colour work is gorgeous and I love how we see the various hues and tones being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work. Also the 70’s and the 80’s were notorious for the outrageous clothing and to see this represented so well within these pages is spectacular.
This is a spectacular book and it has all the right notes to make it go from a movie of the week, remember those?, to full on blockbuster level event. With really good strong writing with layers within it struggling to see the light this is something that capture your attention, engage your mind and really get under your skin.