Well, this one is fun and educational. Who doesn’t love paper dolls? Well some of us do. At first I thought this would be just another graphic box ‘o zombies, but it isn’t. The text tells us the story: Jake and Emily are a pair of “curious tourists” who arrive in New Orleans, go sight-seeing and partying, try on various “souvenir” outfits, and then make their way to the Voodoo Swamp, where they meet Father Joe and Princess Delphine, a renowned houngan and mambo, who also have their own fabulous removable wardrobe! Although the Voodoo paper dolls are presented as “tongue-in-cheek,” it appears that someone did do some research. The clothing is beautifully detailed in full color, and the dolls portray authentic African American sartorial traditions. There are pages devoted to the spirit beings of Vodou, including the loas Baron Samedi and Gran Ibo. Most significantly, the author draws a crucial distinction between several styles of “Voodoo” practice that might be found in the United States: Haitian Vodou, Hoodoo, and New Orleans Voodoo are distinguished from each other as separate religions in this unique and creative interpretation.
I give bonus points for Mambo Blu’s Boutique Voodoo, a cut-out “tourist shop” that has the only paper-doll-voodoo-dolls I have ever come across. Kudos to artist Kwei-Lin Lum for representing Voodoo in the comics and giving us art that we can learn from and play with.