Monday, December 20, 2010
written by Enrica Jang
artwork by Jhazmine Ruiz
(Red Stylo Media)
Omi's Note: Big up to Bill Thade, who along with his wonderful wife, run Fearless Readers comic book shop in Dayton, Ohio for hipping me to Azteca.
I love indie comic books. They can take the risks that bigger publishing houses can't. They also can fill a niche that is usually ignored by the majors. It's a great reason to find a comic genre that fits your sensibilities. If you like steam punk, you can find a gazillion indie comics on or off line. If you like zombie action, you don't even have to turn a corner. Ernrica Jang of Red Stylo Media probably wanted the same thing.
Azteca takes place in Paradiso, Mexico, a small tourist town filled with drug cartels and violent gangs. Although tourism literally saves the small town economically, crime is rampant and corruption remains unchecked. Suddenly, someone is decapitating and mutilating the bodies of gang members and members of drug cartels. While the natives of Paradiso are willing to turn a blind eye to this vigilante, the cops and politicians are not.
The first issue is split into three parts and allows the story to flow smoothly. It gives the reader a chance to digest the scenes and get an understanding of the major characters. The vigilante is never shown without his hooded sweater. The reader is allowed to catch a glimpse of his tattoo. So Jang provides enough mystery to make the reader want more.
The artwork is fluid and heavy on the inks. Those who follow Aztecan mythology will find the artwork familiar. It adds tremendous authenticity to the story. It is truly one of the best art I have seen in an independent comic since Dread Society X.
The project does remind me of Jason Aaron's “Scalped” on DC's Vertigo. I mean that as compliment. I hope that the crew at Red Stylo Media meet with much success and I look forward to reading issue 100 of Azteca (if they plan on making that many issues).