Written by James Ferguson
Published on Monday, 13 January 2014 02:16
Another new title to spin out of this year's Image Expo was Bitch Planet, a new ongoing sci-fi series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by Valentine De Landro. The comic intends to bring the “women in prison” sub-genre of exploitation films to space as five leading ladies try to break out of their cells.
DeConnick had to walk a fine line in creating the book as she wanted to work with the “women in prison” trope but still honor feminism. “I have a profound and abiding love for exploitation films, but as a feminist, I also find many (if not most) of them deeply problematic—for reasons that are both obvious and that I can’t expound on without sounding like an academic paper,” said DeConnick. “These are two WILDLY mixed feelings. And I love mixed feelings. It happens that mixed feelings are the perfect soil composition for fiction.”
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“Kelly Sue pretty much sold me on this with the title. It’s called Bitch Planet—how can you not love that?” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “But seriously, it’s a true pleasure to have Kelly Sue working on a second title at Image, and even better that she’s doing it with Valentine De Landro. Mark my words, this is your new favorite comic.”
Bitch Planet focuses on five prisoners on an all-female penal planet, looking to escape via a gladitorial exhibition against a team of visiting male prisoners. DeConnick added, “there are five women, all ridiculous and real, and all very different. One shouldn’t be there. The other four are unrepentant and guilty as Hell.”
While this sounds like an awesome book, it's tough to read this description and not be reminded of “Prison Ship Antares” the second story in Dark Horse's Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight which was about a group of female prisoners in space. After re-reading the press release for Bitch Planet, I'm surprised that the word “grindhouse” is never actually used which is usually something that comes up when talking about these types of stories. Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight creator Alex de Campi has pointed this out via Facebook but at least seems to be in good spirits about it, offering to do a crossover between the two books with DeConnick.
Look for the first issue of Bitch Planet later this year.
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