Writer: Lynsey G
Artist: Jayel Draco
Letterer: Cardinal Rae
Cover Artist: stevieraedrawn
Publisher: Oneshi Press
Tracy Queen Volume 1 is unexpected, to say the least. An action hero with a talking raccoon sidekick, ninja drug-runners, cyborg armies, and a heavy dose of sexualized imagery might trick you into thinking this was a bombastic, over-the-top, but ultimately shallow effort. Upon reading, however, you’ll find instead a sex-positive story that, more than anything, is about finding your identity and becoming comfortable with yourself.
The titular Tracy feels trapped. She’s skilled at swordplay, but apparently quite bad at relationships. She’s trapped in her role as a glorified guard-dog by the mysterious “Grandfather,” a powerful and controlling drug lord. She can’t seem to maintain a relationship. At the story’s open, she’s just been dumped, when she finds the raccoon, Nikola, sneaking cocaine from the stash she’s meant to be guarding.
It’s here that Tracy’s journey of self-actualization begins. There are flashbacks to Tracy’s training and flash forwards to a battle that we know very little about, but the real story takes place in Tracy’s apartment. Writer Lynsey G does an excellent job of showing Tracy develop as a character, taking her from a personal low point and building her confidence.
The main issue I have with the storytelling is where the fantastical elements rub against Tracy’s central story. The character development that happens with Tracy is well done, but other than Nikolai’s presence, anything that isn’t mundane is relegated to the flashbacks and flash forwards. This makes them feel like they’ve been forced into the story, rather than a natural part of Tracy’s journey.
The art, by Jayel Draco, has a great energy to it and shows a lot of promise. The action flows smoothly; the colors pop. Tracy is expressive, and even at her most sexualized, she never feels like she’s being objectified.
And that’s an important aspect of this comicbook, because it is clearly trying to drive a message of sex-positivity and openness. Something both the art and writing succeed at.
This is a solid indie book. If you’re into indie comics and don’t mind a little sex and a lot of weird shit, I definitely recommend giving Tracy Queen Volume 1 a chance.