Cinder & Ashe is a detective thriller set in (then) present-day Louisiana. It carries a “mature readers” label and that would mainly have to do with depictions of graphic violence and nudity. It occurs outside of regular DC continuity, thus no references to other DC characters are ever mentioned.
This 4 issue mini-series was written by Gerry Conway and penciled by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. This is not the first time Conway and Garcia-Lopez have collaborated on a project (see: Atari Force). You may recognize Gerry Conway as the guy who has worked on a ton of DC projects during the 80’s – and you would be correct. Conway was also instrumental in the creation of countless DC characters (ex: Firestorm, Jason Todd, Killer Croc) and a few well-known Marvel comics characters, too (*cough* The Punisher *cough*).
When asked about his favorite work in demonstrating his work as an illustrator/storyteller, Garcia-Lopez has gone on record saying that Cinder & Ashe was his favorite mini-series ever. Most people are not aware of this, but Garcia-Lopez is a master story teller – especially in terms of telling a story using sequential art. Apparently, Conway only gave Garcia-Lopez a plot to work with and left it up to him how to sequence out the panels/pages, allowing Garcia-Lopez a lot of control on how the final product would look. He succeeds beautifully, as this is an absorbing story which is easy to read with no pin-ups or splash pages to distract the reader.
It should also be noted that the characters of Cinder and Ashe were co-created by Garcia-Lopez (I’m going to assume that Conway was the other half of the creative team).
This mini-series is very easy to read, has enough intrigue to make you want to keep going to the next issue, and reveals a lot of back story on the title characters thus allowing you to get familiar and emotionally invested in them. I’d argue that the content/subject matter is pretty heavy (thus earning it’s “Mature Readers” label) and this mini would’ve been a prime contender for the Vertigo imprint had it been published five years later.
While this mini-series didn’t do so well in North America, it was a big hit in Europe. The mini-series was reprinted in Comic Art magazine (Italian) and Agent X9 (Swedish) and received a lot of critical acclaim. A little research has revealed that a Spanish publisher, Planeta-DeAgostini, have managed to attain the rights to reprint Spanish versions of this mini-series as a TPB.
*Conway received an award at a convention in Spain (2007?) for his work on Cinder & Ashe.