Jook Joint #1
Writer: Tee Franklin
Artist: Alitha Martinez
Jook Joint #1 opens with a strong trigger warning for readers who have suffered from domestic violence, sexual assault, or any other form of abuse. It’s an appropriate trigger warning too since Jook Joint focuses heavily on the subject matter. Fortunately, it handles this well and it makes for an incredible series debut.
In Jook Joint, Mahalia runs a club that allows its patrons to indulge in their deepest desires – As long as they keep their hands to themselves. When men don’t follow the rules or lay their hands on other people outside of the club, Mahalia gets involved with the help of her coven.
The first half of Jook Joint feels like a horror story, with tons of creepy imagery and even more gore. Mahalia’s coven deals with those that hurt women in a brutal manner, leading to a book that is simply hard to look at sometimes. Writer Tee Franklin doesn’t pull any punches during this debut, and the book succeeds in everything it aspires to do, as both a horror comic and a way to empower survivors of abuse. The second half of this issue focuses on Mahalia’s life during the day, as she works to save a current victim of domestic violence. This half of the issue has some fantastic moments full of heart-wrenching dialogue. As a victim of abuse herself, Franklin writes a wonderful script that is both vicious and empowering. It touches on the effects that the cycle of abuse has on the minds of victims and feels incredibly personal. The supernatural elements included in the story allow for the reader to disconnect from the trauma if need be but doesn’t take away from the severity of the content.
Alitha Martinez illustrates Jook Joint with a wonderful amount of detail. Everything in Jook Joint looks great, from the powerful expressions of the characters to the settings and backgrounds. The grotesque scenes are truly horrifying, and the detailed pages make some of the scenes have a lasting impact on the reader. Shari Chankhamma’s colors are astounding, with a color palette that suits the tone perfectly. The use of lighting adds tension to each page that successfully builds towards shocking reveals throughout the issue.
The trigger warning at the beginning of the issue will be much appreciated by some because Jook Joint doesn’t hide from abuse. Despite the subject matter, Franklin has created an incredibly empowering first issue that will send chills down the spines of abusers. In an era where #MeToo defines the current climate of society, Jook Joint fits in perfectly. It has a great message and is an enjoyable comic book to boot. Don’t let this one slip under your radar.
Jook Joint #1
Despite the subject matter, Franklin has created an incredibly empowering first issue that will send chills down the spines of abusers. In an era where #MeToo defines the current climate of society, Jook Joint fits in perfectly. It has a great message and is an enjoyable comic book to boot. Don't let this one slip under your radar.