“Kim & Kim” follows a kick-ass trans and bi BFF duo

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Admit it: You’d totally start an outer-space bounty-hunting business with your BFF if you could. That’s the premise of Kim & Kim, a playfully action-packed new comic from Black Mask Studios that’s set to hit stands in July.

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Pink-haired dreamer Kim Q. and the more pragmatic Kim D. are indie bounty hunters in a galaxy that’s dominated by powerful cartels–which means the Kims are usually broke and have to go after the occasional crazy-dangerous bounty just to make ends meet. That’s enough to get us up and running (and fighting and introducing some characters) in the first book.

The Kims have to fight their way out of several jams, but it’s all done with a wink and a smile to keep things from getting too gory. Kim & Kim is also very conscious of its action and space opera predecessors and has fun tweaking the genre–the Kims’ arrival in the standard desert-planet hive of scum and villainy is complete with a mention of the quality of the local community theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls. You’ll also find a bright, appealing graphic style and an intergalactic Wonderland blender of references to everything from Scooby-Doo to The Seventh Seal.

And, yes, we have queer ladies right up front as the main characters. Kim Q. is trans, Kim D. is bi, and writer Magdalene Visaggio is committed to keeping the story in a queer-centric universe, with straight characters being the ones who get shuttled off to the side.

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In a brief e-mail chat, Visaggio said that she wants to keep the book centered on the importance of deep female friendship, and also on the core theme of “queer self-expression and the young adult struggle to establish their own identities in the shadow of their parents and upbringing.”

And there’s no need to worry about Kim & Kim falling into the trap of straight people writing about what they guess LGBT characters might be like *COUGH* The Family *COUGH*. Visaggio is trans and confirmed that other women on the creative team are queer.

When I pressed Visaggio on whether we’ll be seeing any ladyromance in the series, she admitted that the creative team already “ships the hell” out of the Kims. Since there is a definite intense closeness between the friends but each Kim mentions other attractions in the first issue, it sounds like things may get complicated. Gosh, we’d hate that.

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Overall, Kim & Kim shows great promise as an entertaining queerball read. The book takes care with its central friendship, but never takes itself too seriously. The Kims are good foils for each other, and each brings a good mix of inner life and ass-kickery.

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Issue 1 is well worth checking out.

Kim & Kim will be published by Black Mask Studios in July.

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