Black Mask Studios is quickly becoming one of my favorite indie publishers. Their punk rock ethics to comic books has given birth to some truly phenomenal works like Space Riders and We Can Never Go Home. Whenever they release a new title, it always piques my interest, because whether it’s good, bad, or just strange, the titles Black Mask Studios pumps out are never boring. And if nothing else can be said about one of their latest releases, Kim & Kim, it is certainly an interesting read.
This comic follows the exploits of a pair of female best friends who work as gonzo, intergalactic, law enforcement agents/bounty hunters. On their way to their next target, a really creepy squid boy named Tom Quilt (presumably our villain this arc), they are sidetracked by a rival pair of agents who have history with the Kims. We don’t get a lot of backstory on our heroes nor do we understand the full motivations of the villain. But this is to the comic’s credit since it keeps things intriguing. As with every first issue in a new series, this comic is all set-up.
We get to see how the Kims interact with their strange neon world and each other. The Kims banter feels genuine, and you get the feeling that their friendship runs deeper than being simply plutonic. Kim & Kim #1 is a refreshing title. There’s a sweet core to this comic that’s wrapped up with swear words and violence.
Mags Visaggio’s pacing is perfect for a book like this. She knows when to jump to an action panel for comedic effect and vice versa. Her dialogue is snappy and is never bogged down by too much exposition. However, there are a few jokes that didn’t land, and felt like they were being forced into the situation. These moments are few and far between, however, and they don’t detract too much from Visaggio’s otherwise solid script.
The art for this comic is extremely fitting for the material. Eva Cabrera’s work is always great, but there are a few panels where I feel like she might have been phoning it in. Despite these shortcomings, Cabrera’s art is still pleasing to the eyes. Her manga-inspired character models and scenery are great and make the world pop like a balloon filled with butterflies on ecstasy, leaving behind a splash of frenetic action pieces to fill the comic’s pages.
There’s no denying that Kim & Kim #1 is a fun, audacious, girl power comic loaded with great story beats and frenetic artwork. I don’t know if this comic will be for everybody (but hell, what comic is?), but if want to go on an adventure that’s part Lumberjanes and part Fear Agent (sorry, I hate describing a comic as a cross between two previous works, but this one has strong echoes of both aforementioned titles), this will be right up your alley.
- Fun punk rock attitude
- Great chemistry between main characters
- Creepy squid boy villain
- Some flat jokes
- A few awkward panels here and there