Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bullet Gal Pays Tribute To Noir & Pulp Fiction

The first thing you need to know about Bullet Gal is that it’s a loving homage to hardboiled noir
— the detective fiction and pulp produced in the first half of the 20th century by writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
As a writer with four published novels of his own as well as a graphic novel already under the belt, Andrez Bergen wears this influence with pride.
But he also loves his sci-fi and dystopia, anything from The Matrix to Blade RunnerInception to Ghost in the Shell — and the Bullet Gal comic book embraces these inspirations too.

And then there’s the art.
Bergen, an established artist with music video clips, photo exhibitions, sequential art shorts and that graphic novel on his resume, pushes the visual perimeters here.
Taking cue from innovative people like Marcel Duchamp and William Burroughs with their cut-ups, ‘found’ art and collages, Bergen also cites the witty photomontage work of Terry Gilliam in his Monty Python days.
The imagery used on Bullet Gal falls under the various categories of the creator’s own photos, fair use of public domain advertising imagery, alteration of existing imagery, a heavy element of homage, and original art.
All this from a man equally heavily influenced by the comic book art of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Frank Miller, Steve Epting, David Lloyd, Michael LarkBen Templesmith, Sean Phillips and David Aja.

This shows in his own art — a newfangled exercise in digital manipulation and experimentation that still remembers the tale being told, at the same time catching the imagination of media people and fans who have been privy to this developing exercise in new comic book storytelling.
In its short life to this point, beginning as a limited-edition monthly comic in Australia only in August 2014, Bullet Galhas since received international critical acclaim. The series has been compared with Frank Miller’s Sin City and Ed Brubaker’s Velvet, the heroine labelled a female Jason Bourne.
Author and artist Bergen has already finished the series, a 12-issue arc set to conclude in June 2015 — but Under Belly has been able to get all those 12 issues, some of them as-yet-unpublished, and compile the lot together for an exclusive 280-page collection.
Also included will be author notes and mock-ups, guest illustrations from other artists, the original covers in full-colour, plus the added attraction of a gorgeous, special collected-volume cover painting by Niagara Detroit.
Most important is the grandiose story that fills out these pages: a series that is oh-so-heavily noir, has its fair share of drama, tragedy, mirth and the bizarre, snappy dialogue, and characters you will never easily forget.
Under Belly is proud to be able to work with Andrez Bergen and IF? Commix in Australia to present this groundbreaking series to the international audience it deserves.

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