I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!! #4 (of 6)
By Megan Rose Gedris
Platinum Studios Comics, 2008
When I pulled this title as my random book, I was hoping it would be every bit as good as the title. I mean, look at it: there are three exclamation marks in the title. Few have the balls to do that.
While in many ways this isn’t a very good comic, it succeeds in doing what it wants. The art, while not good in a technical sense—there are often no backgrounds and body shapes are sometimes inconsistent—reminds the reader of a pop art, 50s style that works well with the narrative and tone of the book. The dialogue is hammy, but well done. I laughed aloud a couple times while reading, and that’s better than I can say for most books. The highlight of the book for me was this exchange between a crew member and the pirate captain:
Crew member: Captain, by my calculations there’s no way to fit this many shoes on the ship even if we took everything else out!
Captain: Can’t you just…. change your calculations?
Hilarious. But maybe funnier in context.
Anyway, it’s not going to win any awards or be on many “books of the year” lists, but I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!! is a nice romp where the girls get to have as much fun as the boys, and there are a goodly number of digs at all genders.
Written and Drawn by Jeff Smith
Cartoon Books, 2008
The vortex unfurls, glowing ever brighter, more electric until on the second page the outline of a man appears carrying two glowing turbines and wearing what can only be described as a shaman mask, and I say to myself: “This is Sliders!!”
Now at the time I was joking; I didn’t seriously think I could be holding a comic awesome enough to deal with someone travelling through the infinities of reality where one Earth is just different from the next via the slightest twist of fate — but that’s what this is!
There’s a lot I don’t get about this story, about the main guy Rob’s motivations and goals, but there’s enough that you care about the man, and that’s certainly enough to carry me through this issue. What I do know is that he’s either looking for, or running from, his friend Annie’s killer. In search of answers, he goes to a museum hosting a Native American art exhibit because the ad for the exhibit has the same “maze of life” symbol on it as is printed on Annie’s necklace.
Ordinarily the idea that the main character has to pull out of thin air the next thing he has to do would bother me, everything becoming all too coincidental for my tastes, however with the shaman mask (there really is no better term for it, especially considering the first line of the definition for shaman reads “a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds” say, by sliding between them?) and emphasis on Native American culture, there is an implied spiritualism in this adventure. Perhaps Rob had to access something beyond science to gain the ability to be a man of multiple worlds… I’m open to some coincidence here is all I’m saying.
A flashback shows a considerably cleaned up Rob working at a lab with his partner Miles and Miles’ wife Maya. Though Miles is incredibly excited about an impending funding agreement for his St. George array, Rob has reservations concerning possible weapons applications for the array. I ask you, what kind of scientist worries about the consequences of his work? Sounds more like he’s a hippie in disguise. I’m totally joking.
To convince Rob to go along with everything, Miles gives a speech about doing it for their hero Nikola Tesla — and Rob doesn’t look convinced. I don’t blame him, because I’m sorry, Nikola Tesla, however awesome he may be, doesn’t have the press to be a cool sounding personal hero. What DOES at least keep Rob’s mouth shut and on board for everything is when Maya, Miles’ wife, kisses Rob while Miles has his back turned away to open some celebratory champagne. The close up of Rob and Maya sure does make sure to show us the huge wedding ring on her finger. It’s clear that between Miles and Maya, Maya has the better negotiating skills.
I can’t believe I haven’t even gotten to the cool fight between Rob and Annie’s killer when that guy shows up to kill that world’s version of Annie. The bad guy asks Rob if he’d prefer to be called Rasl, so even though I still don’t know what that means, at least I know it refers to the hero of the story. The bad guy also says that despite the innumerable alternate earths, he and Rob are without cross world doppelgangers which is crazy, but it’s always more interesting to believe what the bad guy is telling you. Bad guys only lie about this kind of crazy stuff like 25 percent of the time.