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Warpaint

WARPAINT


Writer: Kev Sherry

Artist: Katia Vecchio


Put on your Warpaint…

Warpaint retrospectively tells the tale of Sophie and Selene, two schoolgirls in Scotland trying to make their way through a world determined to shrink them. From the beginning, we learn that Sophie, now a popular fashion model, is being haunted by the memories of her childhood and her best friend, Selene. Through the series, we explore what it is to be a teenager hemmed in by society’s unapologetic expectations, and the toll it can take on us all…

 

Chapter #1

From the get-go, Warpaint’s dreamy pink hues, clean lines, and achingly honest words transport us back to Sophie’s childhood after she receives an unexpected email from a former classmate. We have the pleasure of exploring the friendship between Sophie and Selene, as well as their other classmates as a now older Sophie remembers their times together. It is easy to see why Sophie loves her best friend so much, and it is hard not feel a rush of pride when you see Selene stick up for her fellow bullied classmates and fight the good fight (not to mention the waves of love for Emily P. the cat).

warpaint1

It isn’t all rosy, however. We quickly learn a little of Selene’s unstable home life, and in a deft and subtle move from creators Kev and Katia, we end up learning almost everything we need to know about Selene herself. Almost. Cool blues and childlike exaggeration sit in delectably stark contrast to the previous sun-dappled panels.  Expertly done, guys.

Cut to a present-day cliffhanger to end the chapter on, and I was manically reaching for Chapter 2…

 

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Chapter #2

Once again starting in the present day, we find Sophie in Paris for work but are soon taken right back to Scotland when she begins reflecting once again upon Selene. This chapter was a whirlwind of emotion, sending you one minute from wrenching sadness to burning ire – just like being a 16-year-old girl again. A public humiliation in the middle of the canteen causes Selene to lose her head, with Sophie in tow. The situation escalates and we are left with another cliffhanger so good that I audibly gasped. I just wish I had Chapter 3 to immediately reach for.

 

All in All…

Warpaint has the ability to make you feel warm pangs of nostalgia for a life that was never yours. Its heady colour palettes and soft art style make the series exactly what it needs to be. Naturally, the thing about Warpaint that resonates the most is its message. Teenage girls are a force to be reckoned with, and society rarely gives them their due. Too quickly admonished, belittled, and “put in their place”, Warpaint gives a loud, brash, and honest voice to the kids we used to be – and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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