Brooklyn, comics, H.H. German, superheroes, culture, Sigma Comics, kickstarter, animal abuse
Here Comes CALICO #1 Photo: Supplied

There are thousands of superheroes out there that protect innocent people against forces of evil. But until now, there hasn’t been a superhero proclaiming to protect a different kind of vulnerable population: animals.

CALICO, created by Brooklyn-based comic artist H.H. German and distributed by Sigma Comics, follows the titular character as he travels around around the city preventing animal abuse. 

CALICO creator and artist H.H. German Photo: Supplied

Calico is a NYC native born in the Bronx but currently living in Brooklyn, whose ethnicity relates to his name.

“I called him Calico because he’s white, Black and Native American. White, brown, and Black — those are the three colors of the Calico,” German said, adding he also identified with Calico racially.

German grew up reading plenty of comics as a child. Spiderman and Batman, along with others, became tools to learn the language and expand his knowledge. But German said in comparison to other comics, CALICO was more closely related to the popular comic, The Punisher.

“They both have an all or nothing approach to fighting the bad guy,” German said. 

CALICO #1 Photo: Supplied

Calico is an angry man, one who is disgusted by the atrocities that vulnerable creatures face on a daily basis. Animal abuse being a crime committed by a villain is unique in that many people don’t face these crimes head-on. They often overlooked or avoided due to people’s distressed reactions to abuse.

The fight for animal rights isn’t a new concept, but German wants his readers to start paying more attention to what is happening to animals in the world today. As a self-proclaimed Gen-Xer, German applauds Millennials and Gen-Z— his top readers for Calico— for not wanting their information sugar-coated and for being able to take to the streets and absorb hard-to-digest information about the world. 

“Baby boomers used to sprinkle all these nice little rainbows and say, ‘Hey, stop committing this crime, or stop abusing animals’,” German said. “One thing I admire about Millennials and Gen-Z is that they’ve had enough, and this is why Calico is rated M for Mature. It’s graphic and violent and greedy. We’re not going to sugar-coat and sanitize the experience of animal abuse that’s happening in this country.”

Preview of CALICO Photo: Supplied

Sigma Comics’ decision to expose the graphic realities of animal abuse is one of the reasons why CALICO resonates with younger readers. It’s a comic that doesn’t hide the realities from its audience, in fact, it’s educating its readers about very real issues occurring in this country. 

Only one issue of CALICO is out so far, but German has launched a Kickstarter for the next issue, with funds going towards printing, distribution and marketing for CALICO #2.

Anyone who pledges at least $1, will also receive a signed copy of CALICO #2. The Kickstarter is live here and will run through March 24.

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Yannise Jean

Yannise Jean is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in publications like Okayplayer and Well + Good. Follow her on Twitter @yjeanwrites.

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