Hector Gil, the Calico, gets intel on people who abuse animals. With access to advanced technology and help from a network of globally disposed operatives, he sets off every night to bring these horrendous evil-doers to justice and permanently end animal their abuse.
Hector Gil, a.k.a. the Calico, is a former boxer and mixed martial artist from the mean streets of The Bronx. He’s also a man driven by his passion for animals, and he’s willing to go farther than most to protect them. He hates bullies and worst of all he hates all those who abuse and murder innocent animals. Before he was the Calico, Hector underwent many experiences that made him the man he is today.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Calico was created and written by H.H. German and illustrated by Javier Orabich and Renato Pinto. The cover art was done by Garnabiel and colored by Daniel Grimaldi. The art, design, and marketing were done by Casey Gehrer.
The Calico character was conceived in 2016, out of German’s love of animals. It was originally planned as a novel but German ultimately decided to introduce the Calico in a comic book series, which was released in 2020, as Here Comes Calico Issue #1.
Calico is a story for mature audiences. Initially, the story is told as an 8-book limited series in comic book floppy format and printed in color similarly to Alterna Comics on newsprint style. Here Comes Calico Vol.1 is an immersive 200-page manga-style tankobon paperback book in black and white that retells the stories from issues 1 and 2 of Here Comes Calico with much more gritty detail.
In addition to the main stories, the book includes an index page, a statistics page, a credit page, a character introduction page, a New York map, 4-page glance into Hector’s past, chapter dividers, a 3-page bully defense training section, a short story of Green-Eye Bandito in La Gran Mulatta from Green-Eye Bandito Volume 1, ads for animal support organizations and boxing club, a section for characters descriptions, a glance into Calico Issue #3 and a section with the biography of the creative team. The manga book was published by Sigma Comics in 2023.
Sigma Comics was founded by H.H. German. Sigma Comics gives a powerful voice to all animals, who cohabit on this planet with us, yet are routinely encroached upon, threatened, abused, and killed. Sigma Comics fights animal abuse through comic books and manga, to spread the message of animal rights with compelling and heroic characters. Through both print and digital mediums, Sigma Comics creates and distributes stories inspired by actual events, which often receive very little media coverage in the news.
Calico is an angry man named Hector Gil, one who is disgusted by the atrocities that vulnerable creatures face on a daily basis. He grew up fighting bullies in the Bronx, New York. He learned martial arts from his grandfather (I think). He was born in America and has Dominican and Japanese influences. His nickname given by his grandfather was Green Eye Honey Bandito.
Animal abuse is a crime committed by many people who don’t face the consequences of these. He works with Bumble to avenge the animal abuse. Bumble is a robotic drone, engineered with artificial intelligence, that aids Calico in his ongoing efforts to get justice for animals. Not just any old drone, Bumble is on its 17th revision and hosts an innovative suite of surveillance, communications, and ballistic technology. In a pinch, Bumble is an indispensable partner to Calico.
He also has a specialized suit. He also works with several organizations that give him information on his targets, animal abusers. Animal abusers are often overlooked or avoided due to people’s distressed reactions to abuse. He has no mercy for any animal abuser.
The story was engaging until I realized Hector’s disdain for humans and how he completely doesn’t care for any wrongdoing in his environment unless it involves animals. It made me wonder what happened to him to make him this way because humans need his help as well because there are no superheroes anymore and human abuse has become taboo.
There is not much given about his parents and his interaction with them. He is trained by who I assumed is his grandfather and interacted with who I assume is his aunt or maybe they were his adoptive parents. There are no specifics given other than that they share a family bond.
A DISDAIN FOR HUMANS
Hector did not resonate with me. His disdain for humans threw me off which frankly doesn’t motivate me to care about the ending of the series. I wish he would do the same for innocent and vulnerable humans, I wish he would stop children’s abuse in the same way. Maybe I will check it again by the end of the series, until then I will remain at Vol.1. That’s just me and it’s ok.
I admit I have some biases in regard to human abuse including child abuse, child trafficking, domestic abuse, sex trafficking, human trafficking, elderly abuse, etc., specifically how it has been ignored by many and even called “conspiracy theories”.
To Hector, humans are a cancer on this planet. It is also true that most humans are sheep. Who is more responsible? The sheep or the shepherd. In our societies, the shepherds are major corporations and governments. They are the major players in the destruction of the flora and fauna and pollution of the environment. Nobody likes to talk about it. How can one justify the destruction of flora and fauna for the construction of solar panels? It’s for the greater good, producing “Green Energy”.
The regular citizen deals with the daily stress of trying to survive and gets punished for being weak while the wealthy continue their lives as usual. In this process, innocent humans also suffer and since we’ve lost our heroes there is no one there to help us except ourselves.
I question anything that takes away the attention from human abuse in any form such as climate change and other mainstream sponsored causes. I hope Calico changes his mind about humans and becomes more involved in helping innocent humans the same way he does with animals. I hope he meets better people in his fight against abuse but I also see how his character has all the characteristics of a villain that could easily turn against all humans.
A TOXIC ENVIRONMENT
Individuals have the power to influence people around them and affect the environment they are in. In the first volume, there isn’t anyone who is sincerely good around him. Everyone seems shady, even the veterinarian Tammy who doesn’t seem to have the appropriate clothes to wear. Wouldn’t surprise me if she has any connection to the underground world. Hector completely ignores crimes like money laundering by shady people.
It makes me wonder what happened to him to make him hate humans so much. And I wonder whether he has been outside of his toxic environment that’s the Bronx (in the story). He has roots in the Dominican Republic and Japan. Did he ever visit these countries or go anywhere else? Interact with people from other cities? It seems that he hasn’t.
HUMANS HAVE SUPERHEROES. ANIMALS DON’T.
“Humans have superheroes. Animals don’t. That’s about to change” is the slogan of Sigma Comics. I would argue we humans have lost our superheroes who have died or changed into something that is unrecognizable. They don’t care about saving human life, they care about their own life and feelings. From telling stories about saving people and being heroic we mainly see stories about how they go to parties, and have relationship conflicts.
The loss of human lives is wholly ignored during battles. It’s justified if it’s epic. Even the reason why they become “superheroes” is sometimes similar to an anti-hero or villain. I think humans need another kind of superhero with the no-mercy attitude of Calico. Calico is like the punisher for animals.
However, we have lost the Punisher and we don’t have new stories that put fear into criminals like Batman and the Punisher used to do. There is no current hero that helps the vulnerable and the innocent in our societies, the children, the women, and the elderly. Similar to animal abuse human abuse is also overlooked as something that doesn’t happen often or implies that it’s not abuse and the victim becomes the villain.
THE GRAPHIC REALITIES OF ANIMAL ABUSE vs HUMAN ABUSE
It used to be that people had an immediate impulse to take action when they watched something happen in front of them. Whether it was a fight or someone being abusive, they would intervene. Social media has changed that and maybe the pharmaceutical industry also has its fair share of responsibility on how people behave now. People are on so many meds it’s not a surprise if they can’t immediately react to a situation.
But the sad part is that many, the majority of the younger generation, choose to record the incident rather than intervene and maybe save lives because they can post it later on their social media and generate clout that financially benefits them through ad money and whatnot.
In some instances they even participate in the animal abuse to get content. In other instances they take away animals from the homeless who sincerely care and need to animal’s companion in the name of animal rights. Why is it that we have come to the point where we are cruel to both animals and humans and we voluntarily choose to look the other way?
Human abuse is often ignored because distressing to think that it happened so people pretend it doesn’t exist. But we can’t keep ignoring it. Think of domestic abuse, child abuse, and elderly abuse. Where are their heroes?
NO RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY
Calico seems to avenge the animals when its already to late most of the time. I wish he would be more known on the streets. He seems to operate in the shadows and no one knows about him. I wish the bad guys at least fear him like Batman was feared.
It is a shame to see the transformation of heroes, they don’t seem to care about the most vulnerable but care more about their own struggles. It’s all about them. Villains are not afraid of them anymore either and do whatever they want. It is a reflection of the society the West is trying to create.
Particularly in Western countries like the U.S.A, people have lost respect for authority and don’t fear consequences for their transgressions. Group attacks against the weakest are becoming a normal occurrence in schools, on the train, on the streets. And everyone is filming and no one intervenes.
WEAK LAWS FAVORING THE CRIMINALS
Why are animal abusers not taken seriously? Because there are no laws to make it something serious. Even human abuse is not taken as seriously as it should be. Abuse is abuse, whether the abuser is a man or a woman , it is not right to prioritize one victim (female) over the other (male). Abuse should be fairly examined and condemned.
Openly stealing/shoplifting, and attacking store owners is normal in California and it is always a very specific group of people that have become emboldened to act this way. There are many videos all over the internet showing the crimes. In this digital era criminals can be easily identified and arrested but you rarely see it happen there. Instead those store owners (the victims), that somehow managed to defend their property, get arrested.
To make it even worse there are laws that favor the criminal. In California, petty theft and shoplifting of any amount not exceeding $950 is classified as a misdemeanor and criminals could face up to 6 months in county jail if found guilty. Consider that the “Petty theft and shoplifting” can happen at gunpoint where the victim could get killed. With a “good lawyer” and clean history, the criminals could avoid jail time with a restitution, probation or fine. New York has a similar law.
Just living in this world makes us face many challenges and we usually choose the easy route provided to avoid facing those challenges, be it alcohol, drugs, gambling internet addiction, etc. which is what those in charge want. It easier to govern a group of zombies than a group of critical thinkers that could rise up and take charge. It creates the kind of environment Hector grew up with.
But there are those who choose to fight against those addictions, those who chose to help others. I hope more people would become more passionate about protecting the vulnerable and innocent in our societies and I pray for people to recognize evil and fight against it. Choose to support your community by giving a helping hand to those in need in the neighborhood. Don’t rely on the government to effectively and efficiently help. Do It Yourselves.
THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
I initially backed the Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign for issues #1 through 4. I got the digital copies but didn’t read them. Not a fan of digital books. Then there was a crowdfunded campaign on Kickstarter for a more condensed book format telling Calico’s story from the first 2 issues. With this new format, you could also get the individual issues of the comic book series. Along with my order, I also received 2 Calico stickers.
Updates on the status of the project were provided during the campaign so backers were timely updated. The tracking number was provided directly. The products were shipped in one package and received in good condition.
Here Comes Calico Vol.1 is an engaging story with good art. It is a story for adults with extreme graphic violence. Calico is presented menacingly as he is no hero. But even heroes should be feared as well. Criminals should be afraid of them which they aren’t anymore.
The graphic realities of animal abuse are difficult to see but its more challenging is to see how he kills the abusers. It’s a similar feeling I had with Jack the Ripper Vampire Hunter.
You can get Here Comes Calico Vol.1 at the Sigma Comics website and you can also get Here Comes Calico Vol.2. The colored individual issues #1-6 in digital or physical format are also available for purchase at affordable prices on the website. The crowdfunding campaign for the individual issue #7 of the 8-book comic series is currently funding on Kickstarter until Oct 5 and you can also get everything there as well.
If reading the comics is not for you but you still want to support Sigma Comics there are other ways to support them. On their website, you can directly donate to the cause of fighting animal abuse and you can also check their web store and support them by buying their merch.
More importantly, check in your own community for organizations that fight against abuse and support those. We should prioritize our own communities and make them safe for everyone.
Interested in more titles? Check more COMIC BOOKS and GRAPHIC NOVELS under the “EYES ON” series wherein I documented my experience with crowdfunding entertainment and shared my notes on the products I received.