MAFIOSA Charts Rise of Female Kingpin in Early 1900s NEW YORK

Credit: Kirbi Fagan
Credit: D├ębora Carita/Mariacristina Federico/Clem Robbins

A decidedly different sort of Mafia don is being introduced in comic books this fall with RainWerks' Mafiosa. Scheduled to debut this October as a 28-page one-shot, Mafiosa follows a second-genration Sicilian American as she establishes her own Mafia empire in early 1900s New York. Mafiosa is written by Sunshine Barbito, and illustrated by Débora Carita.

"Nicoletta Marchesi is the youngest of Tommaso's five children, a precocious and beautiful eighteen year old who, unlike her two older sisters, is very much a tomboy and grew up always challenging her two older brothers at every turn," explains a statement from RainWerks. "But when Nicoletta confronts her father Tommaso and announces her desire to join the family business alongside her brothers, crisis ensues."

Credit: Kirbi Fagan

"What transpires is not just a tale of Nicoletta’s rise within the Marchesi crime family but how she and the world around her is transformed when she proves better at the deadly game than her male coworkers," the description continues. "Combining the mystic and high-style romanticism of the Roaring 20's with a woman's journey into the savagery of the Cosa Nostra criminal syndicate, Mafiosa presents a fresh take on contemporary themes of gender discrimination and social justice."

RainWerks is seeing capital with a crowdfunding campaign launched Tuesday on Kickstarter.

“We are thrilled to present Mafiosa to the Kickstarter community,” said Sunshine Barbito. “We wanted to take a familiar and popular storytelling genre; give you the crime and the roaring 20’s. But we wanted to show you this world from a different angle, in order to create a dialogue. The Kickstarter community has proven a great way to develop projects like this.”

“While I've worked on many wonderful comics, I'm particularly fond of the character of Nicoletta,” said Débora Carita. “For an artist working in a historically male dominated industry, the story of Mafiosa is very relatable to me. To make your mark you have to do things differently in order to get noticed and succeed, and the dilemma is that those things can also transform you.”

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