I don’t personally like to know the plot of a comic before reading it. I would rather just be surprised. That and when given a morsel of the idea, my brain tends to take off running with ideas of what it expects/wants it to be. That was the case with Pimpkillah. I expected almost a cheeky dark comedy, but instead I found a very serious story. To put it plainly, a woman that kills pimps and takes over their territory in order to help/free women is a serious subject matter. Sure this is a fantasy story, but prostitution and sex trafficking is a serious subject matter. Which is why this book is a bit strange since it's not as serious as the subject matter. The thing is, usually when my brain beings it’s expectations, I’m usually disappointed by what the story actually is. That wasn’t the case here. Sure Pimpkillah was a serious and dark story, but it was still quite good.
It starts with our main character Sloane learning for the second time of her sister being in the hospital. She was beaten nearly to death by her pimp, but Sloane already knew that. Sloane plays the role of helpless, sad damsel to throw the cops off her scent. Why? Because as we see Sloane has already visited the pimp and let’s just say that you should figure out what happened based on the title. It’s not “Pimp Negotiator.”
The narration is a bit strange though. It’s written well enough, but it doesn’t exactly match up with the dialogue. As I said, it’s a very serious story. But then there’s stuff like, “Detective daniels was already thinking of the longest route to the hospital. More time to savor her presence.” Which is trying to build the intrigue of Sloane, but it doesn’t match up with what’s going on with the rest of the story. Like I said before, it's serious subject matter, but the story isn't quite as serious.
The dialogue isn’t great. It has room for improvement, but it gets the job done. It just doesn’t flow very well and if the subject matter and art wasn’t so serious, it would be very campy. It’s close to being natural, but it needs some more polish. Whereas the narration doesn’t fit because it’s almost too polished and bit too much prose, the dialogue comes across as the total opposite.
The art is in all black and white. It’s decent. The artist attempts to keep the balance of contrast throughout the entire issue, but there are a lot of stumbles. For instance, one of the detectives stands in a black background wearing a black suit which is practically washed out making him look like he has a floating head. The action is pretty decent, but could have been better given a few extra panels to help the flow. I did like the style a lot. It’s very sketchy looking, but it matches the grittiness of the story.
Overall it’s a good comic, but there are areas that could use some improvement. I also think that the comic struggles with its identity at times. Is it a crime drama? Is it a revenge story? It seems like it’s a little of both, but not enough to show the commitment to one formula or the other. Still, I’m kinda interested to see where the story goes and how bad everything can get when Sloane becomes a full-fledge pimp. It has potential, but hopefully it’ll get a bit more polish on future issues.
Writer: Sarah Bitely Artist: Alfonso Ruiz Price: $6.00 Format: Print Website