Advance Review: Standing Up For Women With No Voices In `Pimp Killer’
by Tom Smithyman
Sometimes a title tells you all you need to know about a book.
All the evidence you need can be found in the upcoming graphic novel Pimp Killer. In it, LA Jones hunts down bad pimps. (Are there good pimps? The book kind of answers that question.) It’s not just pimps, though. Jones intervenes and targets any scumbag who abuses women, no matter their profession.
In this story, Jones is hunting Luciano “Lucky” Strykes, a pimp who is known for torturing women who try to flee him. Jones heads to Hollywood to track him down, leaving an array of sec, death, car chases and even a partial castration using a pair of pliers. It’s enough to make guys second guess the way they are treating their women.
Writer Ghezal Omar infuses dark humor into the tale, which could easily come off as hokey or downright depressing in the hands of other scribes. Jones’ irreverent humor is on display in every situation, telling a lesbian vampire joke as she’s being tortured. Earlier in the book, she and a lover are laying in bed when he tells her that he won’t let her hunt Strykes alone. Her response is priceless: “I jerk off alone. What’s the difference?”
Omar showcases Jones as a woman not to be messed with. (Her business cards are literally “LA Jones – Pimp Killer.) She takes matters into her own hands but does so in a thoughtful way and often with the help of friends.
If only the artwork from artist/colorist Ayhan Hayrula and letterer Phillip Ginn (who doubles as visual editor) were as thoughtful. Hayrula’s work is inconsistent at best. His depictions of the women are often beautiful, but other panels come off as rushed and ill-defined. What’s worse, though is that some of the action scenes are so confusing that it’s impossible to understand what is happening without rereading the pages. That was the case at the end of a pivotal car chase where the word “Boom” covers the drawing of a crash.
It’s good to see strong female characters – and better still to see them written by strong women. With some more visual refinements, Omar’s work may be elevated and find a wider audience.
Pimp Killer will debut March 31, 2023, at C2E2.
Inconsistent and confusing visuals mar an otherwise interesting story of a woman advocating for other women in the strong way possible. The writing is strong and irreverent, which makes you wonder how much more successful this graphic novel would have been with better artwork.