I mentioned briefly earlier this week that I’ve got some reviews piled up. Seems I’ll be going at them backwards because I just finished something that I can’t not comment on.
Some of you might already have guessed from the title of this post that I am talking about Bitch Planet. And I’m squishing all this text here because I’d like to start off by pointing out how great this cover is! For a couple of days, before I finally managed to sit down and start this, the volume sat on my coffee table, waiting… I am totally not a pink kind of girl, but this colour, the background imagery and, of course, the chained silhouette giving the whole world the finger – it’s just awesome.
The bold title is, for me, the cherry on top.
But going beyond the “pretty colours” this book just gets better and better. What I have is vol. 1 of the trade paperback or one book that collects issues #1 through #5, which is very convenient for me because of space, money, and also the wait. since I’ve fallen way behind on my reading, I have the opportunity to just binge on a big batch instead of waiting a month for the next issue. Also, my ADD and the habit of reading a couple of things at the same time would probably result in me forgetting all about the new comic book coming out this week and I can’t have reminders for everything, can I.
The downside of the trade paperback might be that it doesn’t have 100% of the extra content as the single issues, which, I’ve heard, have very nice essays on feminism and other topics that the story deals with. Which brings me to the main point of this review. This story touches on so many contemporary issues, of which a lot of people are completely oblivious – by choice or by circumstance.
The premise, in a nutshell, is that, in the near future, “non-compliant” women are being sent to an “off-world” prison commonly known as Bitch planet. And this is where things get serious – or seriously disturbing, especially if you’re a woman – right off the bat. There is no such prison for men and there are no non-compliant men. Instead, men are taking every position of power there is, those at the very top being referred to as “fathers”.
Non-compliance is an ambiguous term that could be anything the fathers might consider offensive, ranging from assault and murder to being a bad mother to “seduction and disappointment” to simply being fat. Any of that sound familiar to anyone?
The writing is so engaging, the art s beautiful, and the retro ads between issues are not to be missed. They will make you laugh and cringe in equal amounts.
What I loved most about this tpb (I don’t know if the single issues have that, but I will be checking about this and the essays) was the discussion guide at the end of the book.
Not only do the people behind this great story bring up some questions but they’re keeping the conversation going. They urge you to do more than just read the picture-book and be done with it, but rather actively think about it and discuss, talk about it. And speaking out is the first point of defiance. Or non-compliance for that matter.
I just hope I only get to live this version of the future through this series because everyone knows I can’t keep my damn mouth shut.
In the meantime, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next part, and I’m only grateful I’ve got a ton of other things to read so I can hold off until January when the next trade comes out. If you’ve not read this – check it out! You can read the first issue in digital for as little as $0.99, more than fair, I’d say.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂