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 Runner, Inception 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 perimetres 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 Lark, Ben 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 Gal has 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arc set to conclude in June 2015 — but Under Belly has been able to get all those 12 issues, some of them as-yet-unpublished, and compile the lot together for an exclusive 280-page collection.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.
About the Author
Andrez Bergen is an expat Australian author, journalist, DJ, comic book artist, and ad hoc saké connoisseur who’s been entrenched in Tokyo, Japan, for the past 13 years. He makes music as Little Nobody and previously ran groundbreaking Melbourne record label IF? for over a decade, before setting up IF? Commix in 2013 in collusion with Matt Kyme.
The duo do a comic book together titled Tales to Admonish.
Bergen has also written for newspapers such as The Age and the Yomiuri Shinbun, as well as magazines like Mixmag, Anime Insider, Australian Style, Remix, Impact, 3D World and Geek Magazine.
He's published four novels: The noir/sci-fi novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011), surreal slipstream/fantasy One Hundred Years of Vicissitude (2012), comic book, noir and pulp homage Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? (2013), and the gothic-noir mystery Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth (2014).
Bergen is current working on novel #4 (The Mercury Drinkers).
In 2014 he unveiled his first graphic novel, a 144-page adaptation of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat that Bergen both wrote and illustrated, along with the brand new monthly comic book series Bullet Gal.
He's further published short stories and sequantial yarns through Crime Factory, Shotgun Honey, Snubnose Press, Solarcide, Weird Noir, Big Pulp, 8th Wonder Press and All Due Respect, and worked on translating and adapting the scripts for feature films by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Kazuchika Kise and Naoyoshi Shiotani, for Production I.G.
MEDIA FEEDBACK NUGGETS
“I know you’ll love this... it’s a literal work of art. Not just any comics. Exceptional ones.”
GEEKS OF DOOM
“Comparative with Sin City and Velvet.”
‘Bullet Gal combines gifted, great writing to deliver really cutting edge independent creator work... pushing the outer limits of what is a comic book.”
“Razor sharp, strikingly beautiful.”
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL READS
“Bergen’s writing in Bullet Gal is smart and gritty, just like the art. He brings the city of Heropa to life in a historical noir fashion that just draws you in.”
WORD OF THE NERD
“I’m impressed by (Bergen’s) work. It’s prolific, fascinating, different... I think people know it but it deserves more recognition. This guy’s brilliant, buy!”
“Stunningly crafted... Bullet Gal’s mesmerising blend of noir crime caper and wry sci-fi is utterly sublime.”
“A dark and intriguing series from Andrez Bergen. The writing is spot-on and Andrez is building the story to greater heights with each issue.”
“This is compelling noir. I really like Bullet Gal as a character, and I want to see more of her adventures. She’s just too much fun to leave alone.”
“Pretty bloody riveting. I’ve read comics a long time now, and after a while you kind of get into a routine where not much gets you eager for the next issue, but Bullet Gal has done that. Ellis’ Planetary, Millar’s Authority and Morrison’s Invisibles are the others who broke through the haze... so, in my estimation, you are in mighty fine company.”
“I’ve checked out the comic and it’s absolutely great!”
SNAKE OIL COMICS PODCAST
“The two story telling tools, art and script, make this fictitious biography a point of view and story I would love to keep reading.”
GEEKS WITH WIVES
“Looks very good.”
MIKE DEODATO JR. artist, Original Sin & Avengers
“Great digital work.”
PETER WINNETT, artist, DKNY
“Different and intriguing.”
THE NERD ELEMENT
“The female Jason Bourne.”
Risks and challenges
Under Belly is a new Canadian comic book & graphic novel publishing company, dedicated to bringing you the freshest and most innovative comics from around the world.
Originally the brain child of Adam Jack & Kyle Joseph McEwan to promote and distribute their own work, Under Belly is now pushing forward with producing and publishing some of world's newest up and coming creator owned/independent comics.
We follow a "Kickstarter first" method of publishing, so we will often have more than one project running on Kickstarter at a time. A challenge for us will be managing multiple campaigns at once. But delivering books to our backers will never be a problem. We have different creative teams assigned to each book to make sure they get finished in a timely fashion.
Our biggest challenge will be trying to go above and beyond our goal. $5,000 is the absolute bare minimum we can do this for. Ideally we would like to raise closer to $8,000 - $10,000 in order to put out higher quality booksLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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