I mentioned last month that plans were underway to collect all 12 issues of my monthly noir/sci-fi comic book series Bullet Gal into a trade paperback, even the ones not yet released (although I finished the 12-issue arc, we’ll be publishing through IF? Commix until June 2015.
While the book itself has a cover painting by bloody brilliant artist Niagara Detroit, Under Belly also put together a stunning Kickstarter video teaser that gets up on its hard-boiled hind legs, cracks foxy, and is an absolute knock-out.
Check it here.
If anyone is interested at all in supporting not only the collected edition paperback but the very cool cats at Under Belly, who’re doing incredible things for indie comic books and writers/artists, it’d be great if you could get on board — if not for my project, then one of the others they have running.
I’m blown away by their work and the support/belief these guys have already shown over the past few weeks. Personally, it would be brilliant to put the 12 issues of this series together, as that’s how they should be, plus get them in print outside Australia.I mean there’s nothing wrong with being distributed in my home country, but most of the comics we produced were in shops on the Australian east coast, with only a smattering elsewhere, like a couple of stores in Texas.
Also, we’ll be printing up in a far larger print-run than just the 100-odd IF? has been doing to date.This means I can really get the title out there, and that hangs happy.
I’m really proud of the run and the yarn it tells, and it was a wunderbar experience cobbling together both the words and images — I miss doing the series already.
We’ll be getting some guest pin-ups from other artists I dig, plus I’m fine-tuning parts of the art I wasn’t so happy with first time around… but not pulling a George Lucas. Honest.
There’re four people truly to blame for this trade paperback collection.
It was my partner at IF? Commix, Matt Kyme, who planted the seed.
I was deliriously tweaking Bullet Gal #9 in August last year when he whispered in my ear (via email, the diabolical geezer) that “After issue six is released, you should bundle it all up in a trade paperback.” Matt’s plan? A six-issue Volume 1 collection.
Two other mates, Shawn Vogt and Galo Gutierrez at Project-Nerd, suggested similarly — though they held up the notion of all 12 issues of the arc in the same collection. Still, I ignored the idea ‘cos I just thought they were being nice.
But then Galo put me in touch with Adam Jack at innovative Canadian outfit Under Belly and Adam seized the bull(et) by the proverbial horns, convincing me to follow through with the dastardly plan.
So blame that quartet. Me? I’m innocent. I swear.
Then again, I guess it was the two-month intensive work I did on graphic novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat early last year that really got the ball rolling so far as Bullet Gal was concerned.
For that exercise I decided to lay aside paintbrushes, pencils and inks (though they remained within arm’s reach) in order to better pursue a method of photomontage and digital iconoclasm. There are sights and faces you might recognize, and that’s a deliberate step… a flashback to what the Dadaists were doing a century ago, Brion Gysin did to words with William Burroughs, and the stuff Terry Gilliam chopped together for Monty Python — all the while paying homage to the classic noir detective stories of yesteryear.
The trick is making these essentially single images function as a sequential yarn, and doing Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat was a nice work-out in how to (hopefully) manage that.
So who is Bullet Gal?
She’s a character from my novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? (2013), and this series is a prequel of sorts to that yarn. It also relates to my latest long-player Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth.
Regardless, you don’t need to read either book so I’ll stop hawking.
What I loved about doing this particular series was the fact I could script and plot on-the-fly while organizing the visuals. There was no long-term game plan I abided with; the story developed page by page – and then issue by issue, month to month. This process has been a liberating one for an author, as novels can eat up years.
We’ve been scoring some very cool reviews and feedback from people I respect in the biz like Steven Alloway at Fanboy Comics (see his #5 critique), Paul Bowler from Sci-Fi Jubilee and Cory Anderson at Geeks With Wives (#5 again). Shawn and Galo at Project-Nerd, Tim at ReGeeken and John Kowalski at Word of the Nerd have been sensational — while the Cult Den and ComicBuzz are already priming #6 (out in December).
Also thanks to all the other readers who let me know their feelings and reactions to the mixed-media experiment going on here.
Funnily enough, Bullet Gal was only supposed to be a single issue mini-comic… but then I got so thoroughly hooked that I had to plow right on.