REVIEW: Pimpkillah: Transformation

With a name like Pimpkillah: Transformation, how can you go wrong? Sarah Bitely’s book has a classic noir feel with a feminine twist headlined by an empowered young woman with a bleeding heart that tragedy seems to follow. As the books name suggests, prostitution, violence, and other adult language and content are prevalent, while not over saturated, so for mature readers only.
The story picks up with next chapter of Sloane Stone, the Pimpkillah. With her sister Naomi clinging to life at the No Mercy Hospital after being brutally beaten, our heroine with metaphorically bloody hands must dodge the consequences of her virtuous misdeeds. In the wake of recently a recently departed panderer, Sloane assumes the role of de-facto pimp for a group of young women who had worked with her sister, along with all the baggage attached the role. She takes these women under her wing, as if proxies for Naomi, who she won’t let suffer the same fate.
Feminist and female empowerment stories are not in my normal reading stack, in fact an eye roll generally follows when I run into one. However, the story and style is markedly not preachy. With a story following some liberated prostitutes and the evilness of men, it is surprisingly not in your face with a narrative of women are  the best or victims or should be equal. The characters are flawed women just trying to make their way in a less than easy life in a harsh world. Early on, atrocities they face drag you into their tale.
Be prepared however for dichotomous male characters. These men seem to be either emotional simpletons or unsympathetically evil. This is my only real gripe with this book, but it’s understandable with how shallow and one dimensional some female characters tend to be in many male led stories. Also, the overtly sinister men in the story is evened out with the “not every girl needs saving” theme. Yes these are young women, yes they are objectified for their bodies, but no, they don’t need your help, they can handle life’s atrocities on their own.
Overall, I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would, no eye rolling this time. Sarah Bitely has crafted an intriguing world. You can definitely see the influences crime fiction noir of Ed Brubaker in her style. The artwork of Mexican artist Alfonso Ruiz is solid, accentuating the beauty of the female body, while maintaining their strength. I’d say this a must read for those craving more strong women characters, but a good pull for the average indie reader.
Sarah is trying to get funding to make a live action film. I certainly hope she succeeds, because this could be a thoroughly entertaining short.
Writer/Editor: Sarah Bitely
Artist – Alfonso Ruiz
Letterer – Taylor Esposito
You can support her funding her:
Purchase or learn more about the Pimpkillah series here:
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