Readathon reads: Bitch Planet; The Collector

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Woah….

Woah.

This was bad-ass. I kinda feel weird typing that because that is not really something I would say out loud these days, little-kids-in-the-house-repeating-every-little-thing days, that’s how my life is. But yeah, Bitch Planet was over-the-top, in-your-face, loud and brash, and oh, those colours that just spring out at you, even when reading an e-copy of the comic.

But what exactly is Bitch Planet? It’s an off-world prison for women, it is exploitative entertainment, it made me think of Running Man, a 1980s movie based on a Stephen King/Richard Bachman book about felons given a chance to gun for freedom in some sort of game show. But you know, with women. And with ridiculous reasons for them being ‘non-compliant’ and thus thrown in prison. Oh and these are women of different shapes and sizes. It has great diversity in its cast of characters.

In an interview with NPR, creator Kelly Sue DeConnick said:

The book is completely absurd, and that’s the thing that my co-creator and I, Valentine De Landro, are trying to play with — some of the tropes from women-in-prison movies and exploitation and blaxploitation films from the ’70s that we loved but are, as we like to say, deeply problematic.

It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s also violent and not something you want to leave open when you’ve got little kids around. This is Bitch Planet!

I received a

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The Collector – Sergio Toppi

This is the second graphic novel by Italian Sergio Toppi that I’ve read. The first was Sharaz-De, which I had borrowed as a hardcover from the library. The Collector was an e-book read from Scribd. But I feel like his comics should be read in print form, as it brings out his illustrations better than in an e-book, especially if you’re considering reading Sharaz-De – and please do, as it is one of the most beautiful books ever!

So we have The Collector, and as his name goes, he roams the world searching for powerful, often magical objects to collect. His story takes us to the mountains of Tibet, to Afghanistan, to the United States. And everywhere he goes he pretty much encounters life-threatening situations. He manages to wriggle his way out of it through a combination of trickery, firepower and magic. It’s all rather entertaining, although of course there’s the why is this crazy guy stealing things from the indigenous people notion. It’s rather colonial, rather un-PC. But well, Toppi’s artwork is gorgeous as always. I don’t know enough about art (I’m a stick-figure artist) to be able to describe it properly, but I just want to gaze at his drawings, especially those of his characters, I like how each character, even if they appear in just one panel and never have anything to say, has a strikingly different face and features. How I wish I could draw like that!

I would however have to recommend Sharaz-De over The Collector, as I think Sharaz-De showcases Toppi’s style a lot better.

 

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