As some of you may have guessed, I went to New York Comic Con this week just like many of MOARPOWAH’s other writers. I had a wonderful time, met some amazing people, and picked up some great merchandise. While there, I also had the opportunity on Friday to stop by the booth for Creature Entertainment, an independent comic publisher located in the Con’s artist alley. There, I met Juan Navarro, the editor-in-chief, and John Ulloa, their publisher/producer. I informed them that I was a comic reviewer, and they quickly suggested I take a look at their new series Forgive Me Father. I took the first issue home and read it that night. The story gripped me so much I immediately went back the next day and picked up issues 2 and 3. Today I’ll discuss the merits of this up and coming title. Please note that this title is much darker and more graphic than my usual fare, so please use your discretion if such things upset or offend you.
Forgive Me Father tells the story of two highly different individuals whose paths are destined to cross: the minister Father Pedro and the young Maria Perez, a girl who has fled an abusive home and turned to a life of prostitution in order to survive on the street. Pedro, his spirit slowly ebbing away as he watches crime and corruption flourish in the inner city he calls his home, dreams of a mysterious girl who seems almost real. Upon meeting Maria when she comes to confess her sins, Pedro immediately believes she is the woman from his dreams and resolves to save her by any means necessary. Bit by bit, this minister’s once devout and calm exterior erodes away as he turns to violence in hopes of removing negative influences from Maria’s life. All the while, Maria questions he own purpose and life choices, wondering if she can find a future beyond sleeping with strangers for cash.
The plot of Forgive Me Father is as gripping as it is grim. John Ulloa creates a world of visceral reality, the pain and fear associated with a crime ridden city tearing from the pages to pull the reader in. The characterization is spot on and I really felt for these characters: I saw the madness and confusion and Pedro juxtaposed beside Maria’s own fear and self-inquisition. The final comic had some especially powerful lines as the story reached its climax, and I could hear the character’s voices as I read the printed words before me. The story is also the perfect length: with only three issues it is long enough to develop a concrete story arc but short enough so that there is no filler and the action flows constantly.
While the comics’ story shines, it would not be half as powerful with its interesting art. Ulises Carpintero and Elvin Hernandez’s pencils create a shadowy world that perfectly complements the written word around it. The scenes are shadowy, the character’s faces full of emotion, and the movement rapid and violent. The reader cannot help but be pulled into the world of Forgive Me Father, the streets of the city extending out of the pages. I especially liked a scene where the Lord’s Prayer is placed beside scenes of Father Pedro beginning his final descent into darkness: he takes money from the collection bin and readies a revolver, resolving to “save” Maria as an “avenging angel.” Though the art is grittier than many other comics I’ve read I feel it suits the story perfectly.
Overall, I enjoyed the entirety of the Forgive Me Father comic series. It is definitely something different and gave me a chance to explore Indy comics, something I’ve rarely done before. I think Creature Entertainment did great work on this story and I think I may take a look at more of their stuff sometime in the future. I think this series may not be for everyone, however; as I’ve constantly reiterated, the story is dark and the realism of the setting and characters adds to the sense of despair. If, however, you are willing to traverse a shadowy but excellent tale, then I suggest you give it a read!
Brett Simon is a twenty-one year old recent reconvert to the world of comics. He realizes that this will be the last time he can write the previous sentence the way he did, as his birthday is this Sunday.