Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bullet Gal: A New Novel by Andrez Bergen

A new novel by Andrez Bergen has just been published. Titled Bullet Gal, it is a narrative reimagining of Bergen's 12-issue comic book series of the same name that came out in 2015. Roundfire Books describes the novel this way:

Teenage gunsel-cum-aspiring-hero Mitzi (last name unknown) breezes into Heropa with twin 9 mm pistols blazing - only to be targeted for recruitment, betrayal and assassination. French femmes fatale, an out-of-touch super-powered elite, and one hell of an underlying mystery, figure heavily in this fusion neo-noir, science-fiction dystopia. Interweaving the scrappy one-liners is a story much more than the sum of its parts, concerning questions about grand creative process.

I reviewed the comics for barebones last year:

Bergen is onto something new here, yet it's something old at the same time. This novel is a prequel of sorts to his 2013 novel, Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, but... another influence that goes unmentioned is T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, in that Bergen is taking scraps of popular culture from decades past and juxtaposing them to help tell a story. The story concerns a young woman who becomes a noir-like hero in the city of Heropa. I won't give anything away, yet Bergen is definitely inventive and the book looks great. You don't need to have read any other Bergen books to enjoy Bullet Gal, but if you pick it up you many want to find out more about the worlds Bergen has been developing. My favorite book of his so far was One Hundred Years of Vicissitude (2012), followed by Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011). He also does other comics from his home in Tokyo, though with the flavor of his native land of Australia. Give Bullet Gal a try. It's not like much else you'll see these days! 

For more information on the novel, visit the Roundfire Books website here. The paperback is listed at $15.95 and the e-book costs $6.99, though Amazon lists it at $5.38 as of this writing.

--Jack Seabrook

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