Well, pickle my eggs, if this isn’t a glowing review of Vampire Vixens from the Horror Cult Films site and I’m also glad they spotted some of the subtext as it isn’t all about scantily-clad dead women:
Not alienating the female species, this comic empowers women with the Vampire Vixens in question being powerful, strong women. When the comic landed in my lap I squealed with utter delight. I am a huge fan of Ilsa She Wolf of the SS and this comic seemed to capture the same black humour that was so successful in the Ilsa film franchise.
One of the things that annoys me about mixed sex duos is that the male is almost always an off-the-wall character, while the female half has a stick up her butt - across the series he is usually more knowledgeable about the fictional universe they inhabit and introduces her to it, helps her come out of her shell and enjoy life more, while she has to partially tame him and keep him focused on solving the problem at hand (examples include: Moonlighting, The X-Files, Warehouse 13, Fringe and many others I’m sure). You can almost hear the generic trailer voiceover: “he is a rule-bending Secret Service agent, she is his by-the-book partner” - that is a reworking of the Warehouse 13 character précis but you don’t have to change much to make it fit a dozen series.
What I’m trying to do here (and elsewhere, as it is theme I return to a number of times) is stand relationship on its head using Nazisploitation because, as the reviewer, notes there are strong and dominant female characters in the genre like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, which tends to subvert the more common genre trope of the damsel in distress that you see in Nazisploitation and other “women in prison" stories, whilst still being an exploitation film (see also the Japanese "pinky violence" films like Lady Snowblood, Female Yakuza Tale and Sex & Fury, which I’m drawing on for a totally different story). So this, gives us the chance to have a strong female lead character and, as you’ll see when we get the chance to tell future stories, we’ll also try and drain some of the venom that could involuntarily come from drawing inspiration from the Ilsa character (being based some of the truly appalling female war criminals like Ilse Koch) by showing that our lead is herself a victim of the Nazis. On the other hand the Vicar counterpoints the Vixen in the duo by being less knowledgeable then her and having a caber rammed up his jacksie especially when it comes to the supernatural (and quite possibly the sexual), also for reasons that we will reveal later.
Now I might not be able to properly pull this off, either through a lack of ability or the sundry compromises you have to make (often with yourself - I don’t want it to be so “on the nose” that it spoils what is a comedy, action-adventure story) between the idea and the page, but I am heartened to see that even at this early stage, only 8 pages in, some of that is getting through, both through the writing and the art.
Anyway, enough of this musing. Onwards:
Reading the comic was a blast, a naughty flashback to the camp Carry On films and exploitation era of the 70s, full of innuendo and black humour which we seem to be lacking these days. It’s Uncle Rotter-esque mischief mixed with dark humour, mythology and non-politically correct attitude is just the sort of thing many people in today’s society long for. With it’s inspiring, enjoyable story and bold, vibrant artwork, it’s not surprising that the strip won an award for Best Art at the Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards in June earlier this year.
They also touch on the future:
To date, only two episodes of Vampires Vixens of the Wehrmacht have been published with the first selling out. They were featured in an anthology magazine called Wasted which has since closed down, but there are talks to unleash the Vixens in a dedicated mag of their own. I for one would be quite excited to see such a publication with this comic being the freshest and down right coolest thing I have seen in a long time.
This is an angle we are working on as I type, nothing to report yet but it is early days and we believe in the characters and the story we have to tell, so will keep plugging away until something comes together.