Written by Rick Spears
Art by James Callahan
Colored by Luigi Anderson
Lettered by Sick Rears
Published by Oni Press
The first issue of the new volume of The Auteur: Sister Bambi is a sick and twisted delight. There is a warning on the credits page that says, “The shocking scenes you are about to see are not suggested for the weak or immature,” and that holds true throughout the book. However, for those depraved souls who can stomach the content, The Auteur: Sister Bambi #1 is sure to please.
To set the proper tone for the continuation of this series, Rick Spears begins the story with his John Waters-esque protagonist, Nathan T. Rex, pitching a film to three potential financiers – who happen to be both Nazis and identical triplets who are all obsessed with rape. Via flashback, we find out that Rex was kicked out of Hollywood thus the reason he needs new financial backing for his “art-house” films. As Rex explains his vision of a film featuring the lovely Sister Bambi versus a gang of Mexican bandidos – one of whom looks a bit like Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) – the meeting is interrupted by a team of Jewish commandos, the Nakam, who seek revenge on the trio of Nazis. Things get brain-splatteringly gory from there.
The artwork by Callahan and Anderson is a perfect fit for Spears’ story. The characters are drawn in an over-the-top style that highlights their often insane expressions. The colors are reminiscent of B-movie Technicolor, which is completely in keeping with the book’s theme. In the flashback scene, where Rex is wandering through the desert, the art becomes almost sketch-like with a brighter color palette that reflects the delirium Rex is suffering. Story and art meld together beautifully in this hilarious scene as Rex describes Hollywood to his frilled-lizard companion, saying, “It’s a dehumanizing hellhole, governed by perverts and slimeballs.” The panel with Rex shouting up to the sky with his arms outstretched as the lizard puffs out its neck frill is an absolute masterpiece. This flashback scene alone is worth the price of the comic.
Spears, Callahan, and company have truly outdone themselves and set a high standard for the rest of this series. Story and art combine to make for an entertaining read that never takes itself seriously, unlike the “auteur” Rex who sees himself as art-house, when he is, in fact, more like grindhouse. But that is not a bad thing, as this book proves.