"Bullet Gal is unlike any other
comic book you're likely to read."
"Stunningly crafted... Bullet Gal's mesmerizing
blend of noir crime caper
and wry sci-fi punk is utterly sublime."
PAUL BOWLER @ SCI-FI JUBILEE
READ SHAWN VOGT'S SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF ALL 12 ISSUES OF BULLET GAL HERE!
BULLET GAL #4
"This pushes the outer limits of what is a comic book and challenges readers to say it’s not."
I got the privilege of reading issue #4 of Bullet Gal after I tweeted the review of issue #3 I found on Sci-Fi Jubilee (check the link for a great review of Bullet Gal #3).
Andrez Bergen, an Australian creator who has been living in Tokyo for the past 12 years, was kind enough to send me a digital copy to read. After reading #4 I was so intrigued by the story I wanted to know more so I headed over to their site and read issue #1.
The story is about a mysterious girl named Mitzi who carries “two polished nickel, pearl handled star 9mm revolvers” She wandered into the gothic city of Heropa from nowhere with an unknown past to start her personal war against crime. In Heropa there are criminals and so there are super-powered heroes called “Capes” to bring them down. One, in particular, called Lee follows Mitzi’s path of blood and approaches her about joining their group the “Crime Crusader Crew”. He offers a different way to help stop crime without indiscriminately killing everyone.
How to describe the book? You know that little voice in your head that narrates the story for you when you read? Some stories read fast, some slow, maybe some bring to mind a certain personality like Morgan Freeman, or they play like music in your head?
Bullet Gal instantly narrated to me like a classic '40s old-time radio crime drama or a movie starring Bogart and Astor. The book's melodic flow to the words streamed through the beautifully done noir panels which accentuated the storytelling. Andrez gives us an old school hero feel with the pictures he uses and his writing style, but at the same time a modern vibe with the anti-hero character he creates. The art style won’t be for everyone, which is a shame, but it works perfectly for me. His use of stylized photos gives the book it’s gritty noir atmosphere and pays tribute to the old lords of darkness before him.
This is a great read for anyone looking to widen their view of what can be done with creativity and imagination in sequential art and really convey a story. Bullet Gal combines that gifted great writing to deliver really cutting edge independent creator work.
This pushes the outer limits of what is a comic book and challenges readers to say it’s not.
--Tim @ ReGeeken
The hardest working writer that I know is at it again!
Andrez Bergen, the scribe that brought you such masterful novels as Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth and Who’s Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? is now releasing the 4th issue of his noir comic book Bullet Gal.
Not only does Bergen flex his muscles as a writer of noir goodness’, but he also provides the pictures in this series in a form of sequential art that he refers to as, “pictures, mixing in photomontage, painting, digital manipulation and left field techniques”.
The pictures definitely compliment the writing creating the noir feel of his Heropa. If you love great writing, cool stylized art and weird characters galore head over IF? Commix.
This month’s issue of Bullet Gal opens with a bang—literally. As one of crime boss Sol’s over zealous underlings tries to kill our titular heroine, Lee, her mentor, steps in to save her life, getting himself killed in the process. I’d normally be reluctant to give out such a major plot point like that, but it’s the focal point of the entire issue. Plus, it’s literally the first thing that happens, so it’s not exactly a spoiler.
Fortunately, as we found out last issue (or already knew, for those of us who have read Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?), there are other copies of Lee roaming the city. But, that doesn’t make the event any less traumatic for Mitzi (a.k.a. Bullet Gal), or any less of a turning point for her character.
This issue has a bit of a different tone from the ones that have come previously. It shows us just how much we’ve grown to care for and empathize with these characters over the course of the story so far. Now, things are about to change, not just for Bullet Gal, but for everyone.
The story is supplemented by a different sort of Bullet Gal adventure: “All Fur Coat, No Knickers,” which previously appeared in Andrez Bergen’s other comic, Tales to Admonish. It’s a rather lighter, even slightly silly adventure, with art by Matt Kyme. I talked about this story in my review of Bullet Gal #1, to illustrate just how different it is compared to the dark and gritty tale that Bergen is weaving with the character now. After the death and sadness of Issue #4, though, this additional adventure is a good way to lighten the mood.
Bullet Gal #4 may be my favorite of the series so far. It’s interesting to see the grieving process of the 7 Lee’s for one of their own and get a glimpse into what he meant to the group. It’s also very powerful to see Mitzi’s grieving process. She was always a bit distrustful of this helpful stranger who tried to mold her into a superhero, and it’s only now, after it’s too late, that she realizes how much she really cares for him. But, everything has to move forward. The story is really beginning to take shape, and I can’t wait to see how things evolve in Issue #5.
Bullet Gal #4 will be available from If Commix? in both digital and print editions, beginning in October.
--Steven W. Alloway
WEIRD & WONDERFUL READS REVIEW
BULLET GAL #5
How do you create a memorable villain?
Give them an exclusive issue to explore their usually bloody past.
The story of Bullet Gal is one full of death and murder, left and right. As we take an intermission from the main story, Brigit details her likewise murderous filled past. The first thing that you realize as you read about Brigit’s past, is that it wasn’t happy. There is no period of joy that she recalls or cares to share with us, it is all focused on the bad memories leading into murdering. That is the true nature of this character.
The writing in this particular issue makes you feel like you are right there with the femme fatale in “gay Paris”, which Brigit doesn’t share the same happy emotions for. With the mixing of the French language and heavily accented words, it felt like a great foreign film. The images used are not the traditional comic book pen, ink and pencil, but that of photographs doctored and enhanced in many various artistic ways, with a noir style filter over the imagery. The two story telling tools, art and script, make this fictitious biography a point of view and story I would love to keep reading.
By the end pages of this book, we are at a point in Brigit’s past where we are eventually caught up to the current timeline. This issue successfully re-introduces the reader to a main character in Mitzi’s (Bullet Gal) bullet filled adventure.
Now, having gotten a look at just one of the people in conflict with Mitzi, I feel like the main story will be more personalized and no longer just “good” vs “evil”.
--Cory Anderson @ Geeks With Wives
"The two story telling tools, art and script, make this fictitious biography a point of view and story I would love to keep reading."
This issue of Bullet Gal takes a break from the regular story about Mitzi and her training to become a superhero. Instead, we get a closer look at Brigit, the beautiful and deadly French assassin who’s trying to eliminate Mitzi/Bullet Gal for the mob.
We’ve gotten to see a little bit of Brigit in the previous issues. She’s much smarter than any of the regular mob guys, and much more dangerous. Now, we get to see why. Through her French-accented, first-person narration, we get to see her early life, her family, and the various people she’s killed. Then, we’re quickly brought into the present day, where we see her continued plans to eliminate Bullet Gal—and the idiot mob underlings helping/hindering her, who don’t seem to grasp that assassination is an art.
This is a fun issue, and Brigit is a fun character to focus on. With a bit of inspiration from Brigitte Bardot, she’s a femme fatale in every sense of the word. I thought at first that writing the narration in a French accent (even with a few basic French phrases thrown in) would get old quickly, but, in fact, it adds an extra bit of flavor to the issue.
One of the things that makes Bullet Gal unique is creator Andrez Bergen’s art style: digital photo manipulation of old, black-and-white photos, which lend the comic a gritty, noirish feel, whether we’re looking at people, buildings/cityscapes, or other things. This issue has some particularly cool visuals that really complement the story.
If you’ve been reading the Bullet Gal series, Issue #5 is one you won’t want to miss. And, if you haven’t been reading Bullet Gal . . . for Heaven’s sake, what are you waiting for?
Bullet Gal #5 is now available from If? Commix in print and digital forms.
--Steven W. Alloway
SCI-FI JUBILEE REVIEW
BULLET GAL #6
It’s the Christmas issue of Bullet Gal, and so of course, we begin with our heroine lying bleeding on the ground after being shot. By now, we should know to expect nothing less of Andrez Bergen’s gritty noir comic.
Of course, it’s not exactly a Christmas-themed issue, but it does feature a Santa hat on the front cover.
As we flash back to how Mitzi/Bullet Gal came to be shot, we see her sharing a Yuletide drink with Lee, not long after the death of the other Lee. This Lee is not the same, and it shows. She’s still getting used to him, getting used to the whole situation . . . and then he drops a major bombshell on her about what Heropa is and what it means for her. And, in the middle of it all, she’s shot by mob underlings, on the order of Brigit, our French female assassin.
This issue, more than any other so far, I think, does a lot to connect the comic back up with the novel from which the characters and setting originate, Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? If you haven’t read it yet, some of this may seem a bit out of left field. If you have read it, though, things are really starting to come together in some pretty fun ways.
This is a great issue, which opens up a lot of doors for the future (We’re halfway through the comic’s run at this point.) and sets the stage for what’s to come in the novel.
You should definitely check out Bullet Gal #6 and also Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? Not only will it help you understand what’s going on in Bullet Gal, it’s also a great read on its own.
--Steven W. Alloway
SCI-FI JUBILEE REVIEW