Writer: Tee Franklin
Artist: Alitha E. Martinez
Colorist: Shari Chankhamma
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Who wouldn’t want to go to place where one could live out any sexual desire or fantasy? A place where no one is judged, a place where one can let all his/her inhibitions be free, well that place is the Jook Joint. The Jook Joint is the place to be for all this to happen and all you have to do is follow three simple, rules but if these rules are broken there will be a price to play. It’s hard to believe this issue was written by the same person that wrote Bingo Love, Tee Franklin, but she shows her range with this issue and isn’t afraid to tackle the issue of domestic violence in this title’s debut issue.
Tee Franklin crafts a well told story that contains horror elements along with a hard look at the grim reality of domestic violence. The Jook Joint is ran by woman named Mahalia, who is also a voodoo priestess, but who also loves to show people a good time. She also like to punish those who would do harm to others because she knows what it’s like to be a victim of domestic violence. The horror elements are gruesome and plentiful in this book, but it’s the talk about domestic violence that stands out in this book.
At the start of the book, domestic violence is brought right to the reader’s attention. It gives a trigger warning about the book, lists numbers if one may need help, and list stats for both men and women. The main protagonist Mahalia has suffered from domestic violence and has made it her duty to prevent it from happening to others because she knows firsthand what it can do to a person. When she’s helping a woman named Heloise, one of the first thing she tells to repeat is, “This is not my fault.”, and that scene is full of emotions. And to end the issue, Tee Franklin speaks about her own personal experience with domestic abuse. Jook Joint #1 is a first issue like no other because no other comic has brought up such a topic, but doesn’t take away from the horror or amazing story it has to tell.
I’ve been waiting for this issue since it was announced a few months back, and it was worth the wait. When I read the first two pages of this book, I read it in Tamia’s voice. She’s a singer and did a song on the album Q’s Jook Joint which was produced by Quincy Jones. Weird correlation, but that’s where my mind went. Even with a man having his jaw ripped off and another man having his own balls fed to him, great visuals brought to life by Alitha Martinez and Shari Chankhamma, this book manages to still stay grounded in reality. Domestic violence should not be taken lightly, and Tee Franklin is doing her best to make sure we take a hard look at it because it is still happening way too often.
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