Comic Review: Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band (IDW Publishing)

IDW Publishing releases a comic biography about some Native Americans who are performing a rock band which is a true story of a band called Redbone, the graphic novel. So […]

IDW Publishing releases a comic biography about some Native Americans who are performing a rock band which is a true story of a band called Redbone, the graphic novel.

So unlike The Beatles comic that I’ve read of how Paul died, then make way to the most iconic Native American rock band that has ever seen or heard. I either think that this is more than just any comic than I just hallucinated about another person who is playing with a guitar, but this comic takes the cake. The story is written by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni, and illustrated by Thibault Balaby.

To clear up about this rock band, Redbone is actually a Mexican-American/ Native American rock band that originated in the 1970s staring with the brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas, their music is almost likely inspired by The Beatles, and it has tempting music that captures the audience. However, their story is another thing to be told which is coming to this comic.

The front cover shows a dynamic cover art of Pat and Lolly Vegas brothers who are about to prepare for the next song. The image of the rock band seems fully Native Americans, I would think of any other person who plays their music with a guitar and a flute. And on this comic, they’re dressing like Native Americans, if you see the images on google, you’ll see Pat and Lolly Vegas dressed in Mexican clothes with their hats, and one of the clothes that made an inspiration of The Beatles. It’s a clever front cover with the warmest color that the artist chose. On the first following pages, it has a message saying that this comic is inspired by the music of Redbone and the friendship of Pat Vegas. It seems very memorable, then again one of the past members just died in 2010, including Lolly Vegas. So the story starts in Los Angeles, following by with a lady who is minding her own business, driving a car while listening with her radio about Redbone, which is more like Red Wall to be exact because he is coming from the radio in the present time. And we get to see old Pat doing well, with his family and all. And then the comic starts with the journey of how Pat and Lolly Vegas started their band together, while old Pat is narrating over the story. He has a full share of history of how he and Lolly grew together to perform a band, but there are some ups and downs. First of all, everyone, they’ve met assumed that they’re Indians but white people think that they’re Mexican, which is involved with racism. And then after a few years, Redbone was born. The comic goes into the timeline, following the few pages with some designated comic panels and outside of the panels shows coming from an indie comic. I don’t know what kind of comic style is called but I’ve seen one of these pages before, but it’s beyond my philosophy and it got their own Redbone comics that makes the readers feel very nostalgic of how comics actually be read back then. The Redbone band has a full of shares to the members and right until 1976, it’s the end of Redbone which comes with roadblocks. The members went on their separate ways but they still remember how they spent their time together playing as a band and as friends.

The story is quite memorable, even forgotten if the readers never knew about them. The Redbone is the most iconic rock band that ever heard. Some say that the band came from a different tribe in Mexico, but the Vegas brothers came from a Mexican heritage. It’s unreal to tell that they’re Natives or Mexicans, but that doesn’t matter to me, because going over with the comic is something that makes the readers know who they are when they started the band. The art is like taking you back to the past by reading one of the newspaper comics back then. However, some parts were drawn by Thibault Balaby, which is a foreign name, I don’t care, but whenever I turned every page of the comic, it shows some slight changes around which transforms into an indie comic and back to old school comics that cost ten cents. The character designs were shown more depth and the coloring is basically used in watercolor, but the characters’ resemblance is uncanny because Pat just looks like him in real person. Once upon a time, comics like this show such an emotional thought of writing a biography of someone’s life and his career of a rock band. Pat even described the artist’s drawing are amazing and surprising, not to mention he did all the work on jumping many art styles along with the comic. Things are changing in a matter of time, but making a comic of the old rock band in the 70s is actually to be told for the readers to remember them.

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.