Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Bingo Love' by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, and Joy San

What if you found your true love only to be forced apart by an ignorant, intolerable society? For  Hazel Johnson, falling in love with Mari McCray was a life-changing moment of self-discovery and freedom. It was also a love interrupted and it would take decades for this love story to come full circle.


BINGO LOVE #1

Writer: Tee Franklin
Artist: Jenn St-Onge, Joy San, Cardinal Rae
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: February 14, 2018
Cover Price: $9.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Admittedly, I don't review romance comics in general. With so many superheroes, vampires, zombies, vigilantes, and sci-fi/fantasies being pumped out by so many publishers, beautifully sweet stories like 'Bingo Love' can get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, creator Tee Franklin has been her own best champion launching a successful Kickstarter first and promoting her passion project all over social media. It caught the attention of many in the industry and now Image Comics has brought it to the masses this week in a graphic novel that demands attention. 

Hazel recounts her story of meeting Mari during the early sixties, first seeing her at bingo then at school where a friendship blossomed. Hazel is smitten but unsure if Mari feels the same way. It's a familiar dance we can all relate to when you haven't revealed your feelings to your crush in fear to be rejected. Happily, for Hazel, she didn't have to wait long before Mari came out to her. Jenn St-Onge's depiction of Hazel's joy will have you smiling uncontrollably. It's playfully and colorfully rendered evoking complete jubilation. 

Soon, their relationship is discovered and the two are torn apart by angry intolerable family members. Hazel is forced to conform to the role her family and society has etched out for her. She marries a man and raises a family. All the while, pining for the love she lost through no fault of her own. Decades pass until once again at bingo they are reunited. Their love rekindled and as strong as ever, it sends their respective lives upside down. Now in their sixties and in a much more socially acceptable and welcoming environment for queer women, they try and form the life they were stripped of having before. 

Franklin humanizes the struggle faced by gays and lesbians since forever of simply living a life out in the open free from prejudice and hate. She also demonstrates the bonds of love we all share for a soulmate. Hazel doesn't let Mari slip through her fingers again and it's that determination we root for, hoping they find happiness together once and for all. It's melodramatic at times but fast-paced with joyous art from St-Onge and colorist Joy San.

St-Onge's style is robust and cartoonish filled with emotion and energy. The character designs are so varied portraying people of all shapes and sizes just like in real life. Black people come in all shades too and that's on display as well. San's bold vibrant colors punch up the roller coaster of emotional stakes.

'Bingo Love' is not perfect but love itself seldom is. It is an honest and heartfelt story that is inclusive. It's about love, about black love, about queer love and the universal desire to be true to yourself and your partner against all odds. Franklin pours her heart on the page and St-Onge/San bring it to glorious life. This is an essential landmark for what the future of diversity in comics looks like. 


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #2 by Rick Remender and Bengal

After a raucous debut, 'Death and Glory' takes a weird turn. Like a really weird turn. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had a baby and out came out issue two of this new series from Rick Remender and Bengal. The question is is that a good or bad thing?


DEATH OR GLORY #2  
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: June 6, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With a botched heist job, a bullet in her side, and all her money gone, Glory wrestles with what to do next. The cargo her ex-husband was trafficking wasn't drugs but people and after putting them all safely on a bus to Arizona, she's broke and being attended to by one of the Brazilians that stayed behind. Her scheme was pretty straight-forward - rob the money that the dirty sheriff was going to transport and use it for her dad's surgery. Easy peasy. Then it all went to hell as the sheriff recognized her, she dropped the money, and now no one is happy, not the sheri…

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja' #22 by Amy Chu, Erik Burnham, and Carlos Gomez

It’s the final battle against the forces of Sandak, the usurper of Skath’s castle! Lera’s secret is revealed to Sonja! Can the warrior Skath find redemption? Will the dark power of Kulan Gath’s amulet influence our heroes? And how does Sonja best a SHARK? Find out in the last chapter of THE BLADE OF SKATH!


Red Sonja #22
writers: Amy Chu, Erik Burnham  |  artist: Carlos Gomez covers: Dave Bullock (A), Tom Grummet (B),  Tom Mandrake (C), Reilly Brown (D), Cosplay Cover (E-Sub)Dave Bullock (RI-Virgin), Tom Grummet (RI-B/W),  Tom Mandrake (RI-BW), Cosplay (RI-Virg)
In Stores 10/17/2018
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  










Wanted: Tall, Physical, Twenty-something Woman for 'Man of Steel 2'

Is Love in the Air for Batman?
I love the smell of new Batman/Superman movie rumors in the morning. The latest comes from El Mayimbe at Latino Review that presumes that Batman is getting a love interest based on the casting breakdown being circulated to talent agencies for the Man of Steel sequel. 
They’re looking for someone in their late 20s and are open to all ethnicities... But wait there is more. They’re not only looking for a good actress (like duh), but they’re being very specific and looking for an actress who is both tall and possesses physicality. Interesting. Tall. Physicality. Ben Affleck is after all 6’4″ and it would look awkward if they pair him up with someone who is 5’2″. When I think of tall actresses, I think of amazons like Charlize Theron who is 5’10″ and current it girl of the moment Adrianne Palicki who is 5’11″. It's difficult to say for what role this is for but certainly sounds like it'll involve action so it could be a girlfriend who also happens to b…