Posted by:on July 8th, 2005
Slave Labor Graphics
Review Date: 7/28/05
“Orphan of the streets and skateboarding daughter of justice, Jesse Sanchez fights a never ending battle against the forces of evil, nepotism, ninjas, and hunger as Street Angel!”
Usually, when subcultures try to engage in some sort of crossover attempt, the results are disappointing or even insulting to one or both parties. Street Angel is a series of comic books where skateboarding plays an integral roll in the portrayal of the main character. Fortunately, for fans of comics and skateboarding, Street Angel is a smart, funny, and sarcastic work that doesn’t beat the reader over the head with the mass media juggernaut of popular skateboarding. Instead of constant and misguided attempts to populate the storyline with clumsy skateboarding injections, you get good writing and artwork where there just happens to be a main character that skates. There is definitely more to Street Angel than skateboarding, but let’s face it, this is Skate and Annoy, not the comic book equivalent, so skateboarding is the only reason Street Angel is being featured here. That being said, I’m not going to talk about skating anymore.
Each of the five current issues of Street Angel is different. First of all, each cover is drawn in a different style and features a fake back cover drawn in the style of a different famous or archetypal comic. The stories range from typical crime fighting of supervillians to a more slow paced introspective, real life style that probably has a genre name that I’m completely unaware of. Hey, the last comic book I bought was the X-men in the 80’s. Oh wait, not true, I have Reid Flemming, World’s Toughest Milkman, The Dark Knight, and some Eightball too, but comic book guy, I aint. So back to the different direction. Maybe the series isn’t fleshed out completely, or maybe the creators are just trying to avoid boredom, but ultimately, it works. On the one hand you have Street Angel dealing with Ninjas and the Mafia, but on the other you have some lifelike interpretations of being a homeless kid still in school.
As far as a sense of humor goes, Street Angel is pretty sharp. For instance, there is CosMick, the Irish-Australian spaceman complete with clover on his suit, Street Angel’s sometime sidekick the Bald Eagle (a legless skinhead skater) and Afrodisiac, the retired former blacksploitation comic book hero. Street Angel works well with satire and parody as well as it does with Python-esque absurdity. Afrodisiac’s issue (#5) is probably the best one, so it’s likely to only get better. Street Angel is created by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, and published by Slave Labor Graphics, of whom I know nothing about, but they seem cool. Also available (cover shown, but unseen by me) is the new Street Angel trade paperback that collects Street Angel issues 1 – 5 and includes the free comic book, an all-new 12-page Street Angel adventure, assorted pinups, and a sketchbook section. The introduction is by Evan Dorkin if that means something to you. They have it listed with an exclamation point so it must mean something to someone. Hey, do you like comic books and skateboarding? Grab your backpack and go get Street Angel or suffer the wrath of the Bald Eagle.
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