Bitter Root #1
Written By: David F Walker & Chuck Brown
Art By: Sanford Greene
Color Art By: Rico Renzi & Sanford Greene
Lettered & Production By: Clayton Cowles
Edited By: Heather Antos
Cover Art By: Sanford Greene & Jarreau Wimberly, Denys Cowan, Mike Mignola, and Brittney Williams
In this world, people, judge, people hate. People have the darkest things within their souls. But sometimes, a story comes along and shows you what happens when that evil is too much. In comes the Sangerye family the folks who for years have been the ones to deal with the only substance that can purify the evil. This is their story. Is David F Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene’s Bitter Root a good read? Let’s find out.
Our story takes place in 1920’s Harlem at the height of it’s Renaissance. The music’s hoppin and times are alright. As the darkest monsters ravage the city, the Monster Hunters who work in secret to protect humanity are at work. The Sangerye family of Ma Etta, Blink, Burg, and Cullen. Fast at work defeating and brewing the roots that purify the darkest of souls called the Jinoo. While many of this once great family have fallen, what’s left of it keep up the good fight through the hatred of the world around them.
Opinions and Such:
There are stories that come along, and remind you what’s important. I have read this one, single, issue 9 times since I received it to review. And every time I feel overwhelmed with emotions of happiness, fear, and sadness. Happiness that storytelling such as this can be expressed in a comic book, fear that I feel as though many people on the wrong side of life will criticize this book for telling its story the way it is, and sadness that it has to be like that and we have to exist in that world. A world where creatures like the Jinoo can rise in anyone. Anyone that judges someone by who they are. Their skin tone, their gender, their sexuality. These things we can’t control make us targets for hatred and disgust and its sickening. To see it displayed so well by this team of creators just blows me away every time I read this issue.
The art of this book is just phenomenal. I’ve been a fan of Sanford Greene for a long time. Ever since a Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl mini-series back in 2007 and from then on I have loved the way he captures characteristics of people. This way that is so perfect for the medium of comics in such an expressive and stylized way that it makes me hunger for more of it. It makes me want to get a print someday.
Normally I don’t include a section on why I give a rating, but this one’s different. Recently I wrote an article on why African-American characters need to be represented in mainstream comics and not just taken away when sales dont match to their publisher’s liking. These men, took it upon themselves to go out, and create a book for people like them, and tell a story that would impact people like them. And they succeeded on every level. The writing is dramatic and thought provoking. The art is just perfect on every level. This book is what Black folks need in today’s comic book landscape and I cannot wait for more.