Graphic Novel Review: My Riot by Rick Spears, art and colors by Emmett Helen
Posted on June 8, 2021 at 6:49 am by Gene Ambaum
My Riot by Rick Spears, art and colors by Emmett Helen. Oni Press, 2020. 9781620107768. 184pp.
Val is obsessed with ballet. When her instructor tells her she’s too heavy for Swan Lake because no male dancer will lift her, she takes the instructor’s suggestion and starts smoking. Soon she meets Kat — they’re working together scooping ice cream when a riot over a police shooting spills into the shop, cementing their friendship. She’s under increasing pressure about her weight when Kat takes her to her first punk show. Val seems much more attracted to the straight edge lead singer she meets than to the ballet dancer trying to make her fall in love with him. It’s not too long before she and Kat form a band and her life takes a hard turn away from ballet. Her parents are, of course, alarmed. (But as a parent who just passed the moment they’re living through with his own daughter, I have to say they handle the situation pretty well.)
Bonus: the story is set in the early1990s, during the Riot Grrrl movement, so I knew a lot of the bands Val and Kat looked up to. (It’s not such a period piece that it will alienate the young readers it’s intended for, though they will notice the lack of cell phones.)