The first three issues of Warpaint , written by Kev Sherry and illustrated by Katia Vecchio, are a resounding piece of work as they easily manage to suck the reader in with a story that touches you to the core. Regardless of whether or not you’ve had similar experiences first hand in high school, the emotional toll this story takes its characters on will resonate with anyone. It taps in to the reader’s experience on such a fundamental level that it is impossible to stay away.
Sophie, a fashion model, is preparing for the runway when she receives a message regarding her childhood friend Selene. She is then forced to confront her old school days when her friends were forced to endure bullying and misogyny with Selene being the only one in the group who seemed eager to combat the issues. Their friendship grows stronger day by day as they spend their free time getting lost in Selene’s fantasy world.
For those who are more attracted to stories focusing on real life drama, this comic is an absolute page-turner. It’s so easy to get lost in the pages of this story and to immediately empathise with its core characters. Selene is the type of person we all wish we could be; the type of person who sticks up for what is right and condones what is wrong. Whether it is a teacher or a school bully, she isn’t afraid to stand up to them nor does she ever sugar-coat her grievances. Sophie may be the narrator of the story, but this is definitely Selene’s show.
Vecchio’s artwork compliments the story quite nicely as well. In particular, the use of pinks and purples is especially enthralling. These colours are primarily utilised in the fantasy sequences but we get glimpses of them on other occasions. What helps these colours stick out even more is the contrast with the yellows, oranges, and greens used throughout the rest of the story. The colour palette choices ultimately give the comic a fairy-tale quality to match the type of world these characters wish to escape to.
As mentioned before, Warpaint is more of an emotional journey than anything else. It resonates with whoever chooses to read it. Like Sophie, we are all pulled back to our teenage years, a time where we were beginning to learn the true cruelties of the world in addition to trying to figure out ourselves. But like Sophie, we also had a core group of people we could stumble through this transformative time in our lives with.
Warpaint will force its readers to face parts of their lives they may wish to forget. But it will also leave them with a story that begs to be finished. And, while those memories may be painful, there will always be hidden gems of special moments buried deep.