A Review By Greg Driver Twitter: @Battou
"The Fabulous Baker Girls" is an upcoming title from publisher Belfast City Comics written by Dawn Hargy and David Louden. With art by David Louden and lettering by Aaron Flanagan. It will hit the stands on Wednesday 1st April (limited initial run of 100 so grab it while it's hot!) and will also be available digitally through comixology. We were kindly sent a digital copy for review.
Burlesque is an art form that is often recognised for empowering women, a protest against the patriarchy with the agency and power that the performers embody. this book celebrates the power of burlesque and turns it into a white hot blistering right hook to the face of the male dominated establishment.
Taking place in Belfast, Northern Ireland "The Fabulous Baker Girls" is a cool and humorous kidnapping-heist style story about an all star crack burlesque troupe who put their amazing skills to aid justice for oppressed and harassed women. It is a comment on today's society and the essentialness of Feminism. A story of how women can lift and empower each other, highlighting how Burlesque as an art form can be instrumental in that. The story explores through awesome humour and shenanigans, how the art form allows women to take control of how they are perceived and unleash that power to fight against ingrained societal imbalance.
The comic format and visual storytelling power of sequential art is the perfect tool for capturing and communicating the flair, power and spectacle of burlesque, the well planned heist element of the book is wickedly entertaining with this fantastic A-Team/ Oceans 11 collection of burlesque performers each with their own on stage skills and talents that they put to use in a wonderfully convoluted and madcap way. The resulting action is something that could only be achieved in comics.
David Louden punctuates and gives life to Dawn Hargy’s words with bold flat colours, graphic realism and striking lines. It’s like photography gone pop art. This type of bright bold imagery goes miles towards capturing and communicating the tone of the comic and the outlandish heist sequence which I especially loved.
Some of the best pages in this book are the trippy burlesque sequences. Psychedelic, colourful, chaotic dream-like splash pages that put you right in the crowd watching the stage.
At the end of this issue there is a fascinating essay that discusses the history of burlesque and burlesque as a political act. There is also an interview with Arlene Caffrey. A performer who was crowned Miss Burlesque Ireland 2016, and who also features as the subject of a limited run variant cover.
Overall i'd say this book is great fun and uses that to its advantage to communicate an important message. You should all go check this one out!
This book will be available Wednesday 1st April. digitally on Comixology or direct from Belfast City Comics at https://belfastcitycomics.bigcartel.com/