Kim & Kim, Volume 1: This Glamorous, High-Flying Rock Star Life by Magdalene Visaggio, Eva Cabrera, Claudia Aquirre, Zaak Saam and Katy Rex, is a much-needed entry in the “cool-protagonists-who-do-whatever-the-fuck-for-money” category of space gonzo comics. Primarily because the”cool-protagonists-who-do-whatever-the-fuck-for-money” in this case are Kim Q, a trans woman rocker, with a penchant for accelerating towards a problem, rather than away from it, and Kim A, a former necromancer, turned “whatever-the-fuck-for-money”-type bounty hunters. (Surely we have noticed that “bounty hunter” has become the catch-all category for ne’er-do-wells in pretty much all forms of fiction, including reality TV.)
The Kims are smart, fun, and like all their bounty hunter brethren of the future, chronically short on cash. Their “easy” jobs never work out, the good jobs always become bad jobs and Kim Q’s father is an oligarch who hates the fact that he has a daughter. In other words, it’s all chaos, all the time.
Like all good bounty hunter/private eyes/independent contractor stories from Marcus Didius Falco to V.I. Warshawski, the bad guy is badder than we expected (and has a stupid name,) the other bad guy is less bad than we expected, the REAL bad guy is really horrible and the other bad guy is related to us, as are some of the good guys and that long-dead relative who is very cool, but not really that dead, either. And because it’s a science fantasy comic, there are tentacles and sandworms and alien bars and a broken-down van ship. You know the drill.
But like all stories of it’s kind, it has one thing that is absolutely critical to whether it works – is it fun? Yes, Kim & Kim, Volume 1: This Glamorous, High-Flying Rock Star Life is fun. It’s also got a pleasantly queer outlook on life, in which Kim and Kim cheerfully slash Kim’s former partners now rivals, and Kim has that aunt who, it turns out had a female partner. Kim and Kim describe themselves as “mostly platonic soul mates.”
Art – 7 Cartoony, but it works
Characters – 7 Both Kim and Kim are fun, one-note characters
Story – 7 Chaos and screaming
Service – Nope*
Yuri – 2 Djuna & Mina and Kim & Kim ish
Overall – 7
*No service of the salacious kind, but as the foreword by Imogen Binnie points out, having a fun, badass trans lead still is rare enough to get a mention. (The foreword, btw, is excellent and worth reading.)
And so I welcome it to my shelves and looks forward to Volume 2. And, hopefully, a resolution to this arc so we never ever have to utter the name El Scorcho again.