PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja' #9 by Mirka Andolfo and Giuseppe Cafaro

REVIEW: 'Hecate's Will' #1 by Iolanda Zanfardino

 


HECATE'S WILL #1

Writer: Iolanda Zanfardino
Artist: Iolanda Zanfardino
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: December 15, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

Written and illustrated by breakout new creator Iolanda Zanfardino (Alice In Leatherland), HECATE'S WILL is the story of a legendary NYC graffiti artist who has decided to retire and abandon her mission of changing the world through art, but, before she quits, she's going to create one final street-art experience: a graffiti scavenger hunt through the streets of Manhattan that will lead her fans to a final message and artistic testament.    

As her street-art experiment catches fire with young NYC artists and activists, and while she simultaneously gets roped into working on a rock musical, all of Hecate's expectations and assumptions will be challenged.    

But will it be enough to renew the strength of her conviction to remain true to her artistic self?    

HECATE'S WILL is a story for anyone who knows you can't escape being who you are and that making Art means proudly showing your scars to the world. 

Score:
★★★★☆ (4/5)

Iolanda Zanfardino is having a stellar year. The writer and co-creator of both 'Alice in Leatherland' (One of our Best Comics of 2021) and the new fun series 'A Thing Called Truth' again with artist Elisa Romboli, has written and illustrated a personal project with Black Mask Studios, 'Hecate's Will.' This story predates 'Alice' and was born from a rough time during the early days of Covid and is unlike anything from a mainstream publisher so it could only exist because of an indie company. 

As stated in the solicitation, "a legendary NYC graffiti artist who has decided to retire and abandon her mission of changing the world through art, but, before she quits, she's going to create one final street-art experience: a graffiti scavenger hunt through the streets of Manhattan that will lead her fans to a final message and artistic testament," 'Hecate's Will'  takes a more thoughtful approach to the virtues of art and its place in the world. After toiling to make a difference through her graffiti, Hecate is soon to retire and simply become Rebecca again. Having passionately displayed her message to the world inspiring many, the burnout is real so one last grand gesture to her loyal followers seems fitting for the artist-activist. 

Hecate's literal "will" or farewell letter, is what opens the series and sounds like a diary entry, a moment of reflection and exhaustion poetically captured in captions amid scenes from around the city. It's an eloquent pitch to readers and one many will understand as artists sometimes fight the good fight but inevitably lose the will to continue. There's a sense that perhaps Zanfardino felt something along those lines. Perhaps professionally it didn't seem like her talents were going to break through. We know now that it did in a big way but we all end up at a crossroads of some kind, wondering if we'll get our big break. 

Hecate begrudgingly gets involved in a revival of a musical and it seems that could spark a sense of passion and happiness. I'm going to date myself with the following references but as a Gen Xer, I wield nostalgia like a weapon. 'Hecate's Will' explores the line between art and activism in ways that echo films like 'Turk 182' and 'Pump Up the Volume.' All of them use an art form as a way of rebellion, a form of unfettered expression, to criticize, to bring attention, to reveal harsh truths. The first line in the comic is "Isn't making art just proudly showing your scars to the world," and that resonates. 

'Hecate's Will' #1 offers a thoughtful, reflective, exercise in what art means to the world and questions whether it can move the world in a profound way. Hecate is ready to give up the fight with one last hurrah. In the meantime, she may rekindle that passion once again. It makes for an interesting and unconventional comic book storyline that wears its heart on its sleeve.  

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