No longer willing to let her boyfriend/pimp treat her like dirt, Cabra Cini go lethal payback with the help of voodoo magik- and liked it. Voodoo became her new addiction and Cabra has cleaned up her act and forged a deadly new vocation.
You read that right. If anything about the idea of a former drug addicted prostitute using voodoo to wreak havoc & take names bothers you, you might wanna move on to something a little brighter. If you think you might be into it, I’m not going to judge you. Just read on…
(Warning, fair & gentle soul, the following review reflects some of the attitudes and language found in the comic of Cabra Cini itself… if you find yourself at all offended, buck up, little trooper. No offense intended or taken, and the readily available option of the back button can always bring you back to happier climes)
Now in the latter half of a Kickstarter campaign, funding goal made, this new offering from Sam Johnson is happening. Stepping up from the somewhat campy nature of his other title, Geek Girl– about a hot “mean girl” who finds a pair of nerdy looking glasses that give her superpowers- Johnson is taking a step into the world of the anti-hero. In the interest of full disclosure, no I didn’t really get into Johnson’s other comic. It didn’t click for me, mainly because I just disliked its main character Ruby Kaye. In Cabra, Johnson has come up with a character who may not be any more likeable than the title character in Geek Girl, but she is definitely more interesting, at least in my eyes.
Another point to Cabra Cini, the comic and the character, Sam Johnson has found a work around for his tendency to write unlikeable people as he’s layered her ruthlessness with glimpses at a tragic backstory. Readers may not like her but at the very least there’s some understanding & maybe a little empathy found in the concept of a shitty life resulting in kind of a shitty person. Whether or not there’s a redemption arc for the character, only Sam knows.
Another thing that makes Cabra Cini more palatable for me is the work of illustrator and letterer Nathan Ramirez. His visual style is rough around the edges, well suited to the subjects & situations covered in this book. Ramirez isn’t just producing pretty pictures aimed at an adolescent crowd in search of eye candy. His environments are full of grit and grime, representing the kinds of places that might foster the general sense of foreboding found throughout. That grungy aesthetic is rounded out by the work of colorist Mark Dodson. There aren’t very many bright shades to be found in these pages, as it leans in heavily toward the grim tone of the story. It would be cool to see how Ramirez develops in his art, to see if he can fine tune his work on figures to gain some fluidity in his action sequences.
Bottom line is that Cabra Cini isn’t going to be for everyone, and it’s most definitely going to bother some people. On that subject, I don’t think Sam Johnson could’ve put up a more succinct trigger warning than the tagline of “Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman”. But if you think you can handle some rough trade in your comicbook reading, if you’re interested in following a main character who would just as soon throw a curse as look at you, and if you’re not bothered by some harsh themes or language, hop over to the Kickstarter page. Give it a look. Maybe you’re next reading addiction is right here.
Just remember, addiction is almost never a healthy thing.
Final Score: 10/13