(W) Brain Ball, Trent Luther (A) Luigi Teruel (C) Capucine Drapala
As I walked through the new comic aisle at my local comic shop, the cover for Rags #1 grabbed my attention. The title in big, bold letters on the top could be seen from a good distance, and filling the rest of it is the drop-dead gorgeous, gun-toting dame (who is modeled after Liz Finnegan) with zombies behind her. Published by Antarctic Press and with a creative team I’ve never heard of I figured, why not give it a chance? I’m sure as hell glad I did.
Growing up as a fan of B-movies, campy sci-fi, not-so-great horror, and always wanting to watch a drive-in-movie, Rags #1 by Brain Ball and Trent Luther gave me that same feeling. The prologue starts with a red-hot, red tempered Regina Ragowski stripped down to just a two piece bikini getting ambushed by zombies. During the chase she spots a building full of survivors, but out of fear they don’t let her in. Time passes and she is able to make it into the backroom, but naked thus starting her new mission, a mission for pants. After getting hit by Riley and being held at gunpoint we learn more about her and her original mission of finding the military base. The story acts serious but brings in a dark humor that makes it stand out from other zombie stories, making it seem like a great side story in a major franchise.
The art by Luigi Teruel feels realistic which fits the story very well. When there is drama you can really feel it in the characters faces, their movements and actions never seem overdone, exaggerated, or out-of-place in the panels. With the realistic art it amplifies the feeling of watching a movie come to life in comic form. This was my first art experience with Luigi Teruel and I can say I’m a big fan and would love to see them tackle other comics in the future.
The only color we see is Regina’s hair, tattoos, and whatever she is wearing or holding, everything else is gray except Riley’s jacket which Regina wears later on. With the colors by Capucine Drapala being this way it really makes Regina shine in each panel she is in. Doing this was probably very risky but it turned out perfect for the story, adding to the feeling of an older zombie film. This technique could be interesting in future issues giving us hints of things she may interact with.
Final Thought: For a comic I blindly bought, I really fell in love with it. But here comes a warning, It really isn’t for everyone with its half and then full nudity, “heavy“ language, and blood. If all of those are your things then you’ll love it! The only downside was with heavy dialogue comes a lot of word bubbles that feel cluttered and covers the art too much. Rags #1 is a love child of exploitation films showcasing all of the best qualities, when reading it you can feel the influence seeping in showing the heart and soul the creative team poured into it.
Memorable Quote: “Kevin’s kid doesn’t need to see a naked woman running around.” -Non named background character.
“I think in the zombie apocalypse that’s not the worse thing they could see.” -Me
Moral of the Story: Always pack extra pants for the apocalypse.