Kickstarter Spotlight: Bullet Gal: Kickstarting and Scratching the Comic Book Kingdom

BULLET GAL_Its Not You Its Me_Under Belly TPB Collection_COVERby Andrez Bergen

I have a Kickstarter campaign.

So do about a million other people and their dogs – I lie in wait for Snoopy’s request to upgrade his humble house in order that it truly could fly the dangerous skies over the Western Front in 1918.

My Kickstarter project involves a different flight of fancy taking place in another field of conflict: Heropa is a shiny old school metropolis in which people with special powers and union suits take the fight to gunsels, gangsters and femmes fatale – along with one another – in a realm that’s never quite what it appears to be.

Think traditional tropes sourced from golden, silver and bronze-age comic books mashed up with hardboiled noir, pulp and sci-fi elements, and a tongue that lingers gently inside cheek.

BULLET GAL page sample 120Bullet Gal started life this year as a limited-edition monthly comic book through IF? Commix in Australia, and the mash-up appears to have paid off.

The critical reaction from comic book and crime-related media, along with a surprisingly healthy roster of fans, has been enough to inspire me to pour my heart into the yarn and I just wrapped #12, the final issue in the arc, which is set to be published in June 2015.

Even more surprising was the reception from Canadian publisher Under Belly Comics, who were so rapt with the series that they licensed the lot for publication as a trade paperback – with a cover painting by the great Niagara Detroit – to hit up the North American market before the tenth issue even gets published in Oz.

That’s where the Kickstarter comes in, as Under Belly do their job as a champion of innovative indie comics by asking for like-minded people to support their cause.

The ulterior element that makes Bullet Gal that something unique, I hope, from other comic books is the manner in which it’s been cobbled together.

While I’m quick to cite ‘traditional’ influences like comic artists Frank Miller, David Aja, Jack Kirby, Steve Epting, Jim Steranko and their ilk, I also wear the baggage of an immersion in the ‘found’ object art of Dada, people such as Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, and I’m equally enamoured with the cut-up/staccato visual styles of Terry Gilliam and film maker Chris Marker.

And then there’s the text.

Having four novels under one’s belt helps in that department, along with a love for all things Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane and Ed Brubaker.

Cinema too is influential here, from classic film noir to B-grade science fiction romps.

So, yeah, there’re a gazillion other crowdsourcing projects out there – each with their own particular merit. But if you have a hankering for comics, noir, experimentation, a sense of humour and a definitive touch of the surreal, Bullet Gal may just be up there alongside Snoopy’s.

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