Papercutz to Publish Jessica Abel’s Trish Trash: Roller Girl of Mars this Fall
The settings of Jessica Abel’s work have run the gamut from the streets of Mexico City to the neighborhoods of Los Angeles to behind the scenes at NPR. But this fall she’s breaking new ground. And that ground happens to be on another planet.
Abel’s latest graphic novel, Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars is the powerful, positive, and politically aware story of a seven-and-a-half year old girl on Mars (that’s 15 in Earth years). Like most Martys, she and her family struggle to survive. The Mars colony where she lives has become a company town, where the omnipresent Arex corporation keeps humans indentured through a combination of debt and water rationing. Her aunt is struggling to eke out a living as a moisture farmer and her parents went missing on an anthropological mission over a year ago. Trish dreams of escaping her dreary existence by becoming a hover derby star with the local Boreale Bombers. But even if she could make the team, she’s too young to get a contract, and her family is going broke faster than her escape velocity.
So when a half-dead native Martian shows up on her doorstep, that seems like the last thing Trish needs. But choosing to nurse her back to health rather than call the MarsGuard turns out to have all kinds of world-altering after effects. And truly becoming Rollergirl of Mars takes on new urgency, in ways Trish could never predict.
Part science fiction, part rollicking adventure story, Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars is also a compelling character study of a young girl who feels trapped by the circumstances of her birth and economic situation. The series also tackles issues of diversity and prejudice head on. In addition to featuring a multi-racial lead character, it also explores issues of prejudice and social injustice through the relationship between the humans and the native Martians who appear in the book. Its universal themes will resonate with tweens, teens and older readers in a way that only the best young adult fiction does. It’s a unique graphic novel and Abel was very selective in picking an English language publishing partner.
Papercutz plans to release the first volume in this three-volume series as an oversized graphic novel in November 2016. But since Abel has been working on the book for a number of years, she’s already created some compelling material to accompany the book’s original publication in France. As a result, eager readers can get a number of cool “sneak previews” of what to expect from her latest offering.