By Dustin Cabeal
I’ve been a long-time follower of Dan Mendoza’s. To the point that when he launches a Kickstarter, I pay attention to it. Having been flooded with numerous requests for Kickstarter coverage over the years, I’ve grown to ignore the platform when it comes to comics, especially as big publishers have begun to abuse the platform as a pre-order type storefront. The Kickstarter for Sad Girl, Psycho Baby was particularly interesting because it seemed to have a different vibe than his Dollface Kickstarter, which was a title that instantly landed at Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint.
Sad Girl, Psycho Baby is actually the launch of Still Ill Princess/Mendoza Comics LLC, which as you can piece together is Mendoza’s own publishing imprint. With that came the usual first-time struggles of running a Kickstarter. I’m easy to please since I don’t care about updates or timetables. Though I can’t remember selecting the nude variant, that’s what I ordered. I like Mendoza’s nude variants as it’s become a variant that has some meaning in the world of pointless variants. It reminds me of censored and uncensored anime in which you can get the no-nipple boobs with soft smoke all around or the uncensored, hey there’s a nip version. #NipsOutForAnime I kind of wish Mendoza would do the same thing inside the issue the way that Avatar Press has done, I mean they did copy the Rique covers that Mendoza’s Zombie Tramp has become known so why not steal something back as well?
Anyway, the story for Sad Girl, Psycho Baby seems like something Mendoza is more comfortable writing. The dialogue flows and feels natural from the mouths of the characters. The issue follows Psycho Baby, our ghoulish looking woman on the cover. She’s fighting a gang of guys that jumped her and took her car. She’s looking to get it back and killing them one at a time until she gets info. Well, I should say she’s killing them, but she’s the cause of their deaths. There’s a nice twist in that she has the powers of sadness. Her tears can become bullets, and when they hit you, you become so sad and depressed that you kill yourself. I’m sure some people will be shocked or applaud by this and cry for warnings to be added, but it’s not as comical as it sounds. The ending segment of the story reveals at least part of why she has this power.
It’s important to note that the world is post-apocalyptic. We’re told there are different cities that have a variety of designs to them making for some interesting settings in the future of the series. What’s also nice is that the first issue feels like a standalone story. There’s going to more issues, but if they all have a one and done vibe yet tie into an overarching story, then I’ll look forward to them far more than I do any other single issue.
The artwork is some of Mendoza’s best. His style on Sad Girl, Psycho Baby, is more refined and looks even better than his covers as of late. I would still kill for him to illustrate Zombie Tramp on his own as no one else that’s been on the title has managed to capture the style or flair that Mendoza has. It seems as if he’ll be sticking to the art on Sad Girl, Psycho Baby and I’m happy about that. The action is smoother and easier to follow, and the overall pacing of the comic has improved even more since Dollface. The second character on the cover is also a treat visually, she’s bubbly and gives off a different vibe visually from Mendoza’s previous characters.
Sad Girl, Psycho Baby is going to find its audience. If only for the nudity it’ll find an audience, but hopefully they see the growth that Mendoza has made as a storyteller. If you’re new to his work, then don’t just write it off as cheesecake. The reason I support Mendoza’s work over publishers like Zenescope (at least five years ago Zenescope) and Avatar, is that the story is just as important as the boobs. You can have boobs in a story; it’s just that most creators don’t know how to do it without coming across as pervs. Sad Girl, Psycho Baby is a great example of how to do it right, where it’s sexy, strong and beautiful.
If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Sad Girl, Psycho Baby, then head over to StillIllPrincess.com where you can grab the first issue and pick your own cover. Each issue is only going to Kickstarter with no Diamond distribution. That alone is interesting to me, let’s see how it pans out. I’ll be supporting one of my favorite comic creators and looking forward to the next issue.
Sad Girl, Psycho Baby #1
Still Ill Princess/Mendoza Comics LLC