It’s the 23rd century, and nothing scares the mega corporations of the future more than two badass sisters, known on wanted posters all over the galaxy as The Gadflies. A lifetime of stealing from the ultra rich and giving a hefty portion to the poor have made Nina and Georgie equally revered and reviled across the star system in Bounty #1.
After a job goes south, the infamous thieves have to scrap their lives to escape capture and start over from scratch. Years later, together they head up a team of bounty hunters. In this century, bounty hunters possess a sort of celebrity. Think superheroes meets reality stars meets WWE wrestlers.
For tough-as-nails Nina and Georgie, going from the hunted to the hunters isn’t as easy as it sounds. Though they’ve amassed quite a fanbase, always snapping pics of their costumed capers when they’re on the job, they’re barely scraping by.
In the first issue of the new series, we’re introduced to the rest of the team, including cyber-sorceress Vivian, and all around nice guy Alan, who is so normal it is mysterious.
Rat Queens writer Kurtis J Wiebe and artist Mindy Lee are a perfect pair, creating a wild, kinetic sci-fi spectacle of neon cyberscapes and seedy space stations. Bounty #1 has a focus on the importance of family, irreverence for authority, and a cavalier, damn-the-torpedoes sense of humor that is a blast to read.
To get the inside perspective, Kurtis J. Wiebe (@) took some time to answer our burning questions.
Rogues Portal: Okay, let’s get the most important question out of the way… what’s the cat’s name?
Kurtis J. Wiebe: The little trouble causing furball is Tesla, the calm center to the crazy lives the crew in Bounty lead.
RP: A favorite motif of yours seems to be that family can be something that you create, people that you choose to love and rely on. That’s a theme that really resonates with a lot of folks, myself included. Can you tell us a little more about that?
KW: It has a lot to do with where I come from. I think the most relevant part of it is that I’m adopted and it really is at the very center of my existence. I have a full family that is not my blood, but they are the ones who raised me and shaped me into the person I am now. I’ve always known, since I was old enough to understand, that family isn’t always genetic, it’s about the time invested. Doesn’t mean it’s perfect, or that you agree on most things, but where you fall back to when the world is a difficult place.
RP: Some people are saying Bounty reminds them of Rat Queens meets Firefly, but I gotta say I’m getting way more of a Cowboy Bebop vibe, Hub 17 being especially reminiscent. Any influence there?
KW: I love Cowboy Bebop, so even if not intended, I think it’s bled into the series. It manages to blend music and genre so easily, ones you might even consider at odds with each other, and makes it work. I revisit that show every few years.
There’s a bit of that in Bounty as well. It is a colourful bright take on cyberpunk, a genre that is traditionally dour and bleak.
It’s been interesting to watch the growth of diverse stories over the past few years. I think comics as a whole are evolving and reaching a larger audience because of it. – Kurtis J. Wiebe
RP: After Rat Queens, is it refreshing to delve into sci-fi? What about those genres draw you in as an author, what sort of tales do they allow you to tell?
KW: It allows me to tackle topics that fantasy doesn’t. While writing comics is what takes up most of my time, I also DM a weekly D&D game for my wife and her three friends. I find the idea of streaming and community building on Twitch very interesting, and there’s commentary on social media in general in Bounty. How will our current situation with online personalities evolve over a few hundred years?
It’s a subtle part playing in the background of the main narrative, and it’s just one example of how placing Bounty in a sci-fi setting allows me to share views on particular modern topics.
RP: I would like to add that I think you’re doing a lot to make comics more accessible to a broader, more modern audience. You’ve shown an affinity for female driven stories, characters who possess all kinds of body types and orientations, and are racially diverse to boot. Representation matters in a big way, and it can be a challenge even now to find comics that are truly progressive with their characters and not just paying politically correct lip service. I just wanted to make sure you know that it’s appreciated. Any thoughts on diversity representation in comics?
KW: Thank you, I very much appreciate that feedback. My stories are inspired by family, both where I was raised and the friends around me. I am lucky to surround myself with a diverse group of people and I think it naturally falls into the narratives I write. I also come from a First Nations background; my birth father is Metis. A lot of my stories feature First Nations mythology and even some characters, as I’ve been inspired by some amazing people from those communities.
It’s been interesting to watch the growth of diverse stories over the past few years. I think comics as a whole are evolving and reaching a larger audience because of it. I have very solid hope that it is a trend that will continue to grow, both in the indie, creator owned genre as well as the mainstream.
RP: Tacos are good? Y/N
KW: Absolutely yes.
Make the first issue of Bounty your Catch of the Day June 6th!