Every Sunday we try to cover at least one offering from our friends in the small press publishing industry. One of my goals this year is to build stronger relationships with all of the publishers that we can, big and small, and to those ends we are open to review pretty much anything. This week on Small Press Sunday, I want to turn the spotlight on the folks at Ginger Rabbit Studio and their comic, Golden Age.

Small Press Sunday Golden Age

Rob Harrington and Giulie Speziani have created a very interesting and thought provoking story with Golden Age. Set in Italy in 1946, this story focuses on a small village in the post-World War 2 environment. Rosa, a small girl from the village, spends her time roaming the fields, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends. This is a story about what she finds on one of those ramblings.

As Rosa ran through a field past abandoned tanks and destroyed buildings, she stumbles over a dead soldier, many months dead. Several books have spilled from his sack and she collects these and sees that they are comic books, full color stories about different super heroes. I love her line here; “I know it’s wrong to steal but… I’ll take good care of them!”

One of the comics in particular that catches her eye is Miss Fire, about a super heroine who fights the Nazis. In school she reads these comics instead of doing her schoolwork. The ideas of the stories stimulate her imagination and Rosa dresses up with certain appropriated items from around town as well as her favorite purple dress. She becomes Rosa the Wrangler and goes about the town seeing what good deeds she can do or what evil she can thwart.

There is a very basic idea here. These comics and the story they tell, just like comic books in modern times, gave hope to this girl in a time following some terrible events in and around her village. This was a way for her, as a child, to stand up and fight back against an enemy that seemed unstoppable, and in reality still was to a little girl. These ideas and ideals can help to instill in her the moral standards to do what is right and to resist evil at every turn. I thought about how this could impact Rosa as she grew up. Maybe she continues to fight crime as a leader in her village, shoring up areas of town, providing safe homes and well lit areas. Perhaps she goes on to further her education and becomes a doctor or lawyer, thus fighting injustice and disease. Any of these things are possible with hope, imagination, and determination.

The color and art of Golden Age are wonderful. I enjoyed the softness of the colors and the lines as this helps keep the focus on the words and ideas of the story while still illustrating life in Northern Italy in 1946. Cecilia Latella brings the story together with her art and makes this a very impressive comic book. I would recommend this as a good break form the normal super hero fare. Big thanks to Giulie Speziani and her team for giving me an opportunity to review this book. You can get a copy of Golden Age at the Ginger Rabbit Studio website and also catch the team at Wondercon coming up in April 2014 in Anaheim, CA.

My Rating: 5/5

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