Feb 28 2015
At the heart of the #BlackComicsMonth movement, there has been one thing linking the creators, characters, and everyone in the movement together – it’s the stories. That’s why we gravitate towards comics in the first place, as fans.. We want to read and immerse ourselves in the stories that we can relate to and see ourselves in. We want to cherish these stories; see them flourish and grow. We want to keep them alive.
Rigamo is a comic by Chelsea Grayson and Sharon De La Cruz, with more than just beautiful artwork to add to the conversation of Black storytelling. Our heroine is six-year-old Kera Moore, who learns that she has an incredible yet sobering power. She cries when her pet goldfish, Cinnamon, dies, but her tears are able to revive him. However, these powers come at a price – whenever Kera uses her tears to bring someone back from the dead, she grows older.
Kera finds herself in situations where her powers remain a looming choice. I found it an interesting retelling on the typical story of revival and immortality. In the world of Rigamo, it’s reinforced that life is precious and the choices we make affect those around us.
It’s also refreshing to see Kera as the protagonist. Though her age fluctuates as she continues to use her power to save those she cares for, she remains (at least at heart) a six-year-old. And it’s that innocence and untainted perspective that keeps the story moving forward, and remaining fresh to the reader. She’s loving and smart; it’s her love for the people around her that keeps her pushing forward and the reader rooting for her, despite the impending fall from her powers that we all know will come if she continues to use it.
I also enjoyed how the story was set in the real world, with the characters around her being as cynical and jaded as those who have lost their sense of wonder in the world tend to be. Kera’s position as the protagonist then becomes even more necessary – she touches the lives of those around her, and in turn, they learn from her.
This was more than just a cute story about a young girl trying to make sense of the world or trying to escape her powers that can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a story about the fragility of life, and Grayson and De La Cruz create a fantastic message behind an engaging, adorable protagonist and a story line that will have you on the edge of your seat.