Rockabillies In Love: Should You Be Reading ‘Rock And Riot’? [Pride Week]
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there’s so much to choose from that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
Rival gangs! Sweet cars! Rockabilly hair! Teenage love! If any of those things interest you, you should be reading Rock And Riot.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Rock And Riot is a tale of rival teenage gangs in the 1950s. There’s the Jaquettes, a group of rad ladies led by Connie, who has some of the best hair I’ve ever seen (and she knows it). And then there's the Rollers, led by Frankie, 19-year-old dude with a penchant for leather jackets and overcompensation.
Rock and Riot follows various members of the Jaquettes and the Rollers as they go on dates at the drive-in, get in turf wars at the soda shoppe, pine over their crushes in class, and fight over which gang gets the new kid in town. It’s like Archie, if Archie still took place in the '50s, and everybody had amazing style, and Betty and Veronica joined forces to start a gang to take Reggie down.
WHO’S IT BY?
Rock And Riot is written by Chelsey Furedi, a queer animation student and comic artist in New Zealand.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The cast of Rock And Riot is amazingly diverse in terms of gender, sexuality, race, size, and shape, but not in a gimmicky way. The comic has so many wonderful moments of cute teenage love and friendship within a wide variety of relationships. On the Rock and Riot Extras blog, readers have posted about how wonderful it is to be able to have characters to identify with. This matters, guys. (The comics' cast list even tells you everyone’s preferred pronouns!)
Rock and Riot also focuses on the great parts of difference and diversity --- in this world, nobody’s homophobic, nobody’s racist. When Rolly comes out as trans and joins the Jaquettes, the drama isn’t about her being trans, but about the fact that she joined the rival gang. (How dare she, right?) It’s such a positive, fun comic. I smile when I read each new update.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
Teenagers (and adults) who want to learn about gender and sexuality within the context of fun stories. Anyone who likes the '50s aesthetic. Anyone who remembers their misbegotten youth. Anyone who loves love!
WHERE CAN I READ IT?
You can read the comic online at rockandriotcomic.com and on Tapastic. It’s updated twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. The first five chapters are also collected in a full color print edition, available here.