Writer: Alisa Kwitney
Publisher: AHOY Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Blast to the past with G.I.L.T., a sci-fi/urban fantasy dramedy where two older women's lives intertwine when they time-travel together back to 1973.
It's got all the Back to the Future adventure with the feminist time-traveling sensibilities of 13 Going On 30.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
What should be a day of swooning and celebration ends in chaos when Hildy Winters ends up late -- and drenched in water by a New York City taxi -- on her wedding day in 1973. Now, in 2017, the tough, jaded old Hildy longs to return to that fateful day that altered her life 40 years ago.
No-nonsense Trista is sent to Hildy's Upper West-Side apartment to work as her home health care aide. After spending a short time in Hildy's home, Trista realizes the elderly woman harbors secrets about time travel. It's up to Trista to find out why the elderly woman wants to travel back in time.
Where in the world will Hildy Winters go?
Alisa Kwitney's success as a novelist and graphic novel writer evidences itself here. G.I.L.T. is immaculately paced, sprinkling relevant tidbits of information and story details about Hildy and Trista's past within each panel.
If you've never seen any art by Mauricet, you'll want to pick up any comic he's ever illustrated after reading G.I.L.T. #1. Mauricet's art sparkles with an eye for finer details and shines with bold style.
Further complementing the thick linework and shadows on display in Mauricet's illustrations, his color choices like purple and yellow hues blend nostalgia with a dazzling sense of hyperrealism.
Letterer Rob Steen carries a heavy load of lettering and essential SFX duties on his shoulders like a feather. From fitting overlapping speech bubbles between the two talkative women in narrow panels legibly to amplifying the sound of phones ringing, Hildy falling, and gasps of astonishment, Steen never misses a beat.
Fashion reigns throughout this time travel comic. Hildy's wedding outfit is unusual for a bride in the opening pages but makes stylistic sense once we learn more about her personality.
Both Hildy and Trista seem to have an affinity for purple in their clothing, which artist Mauricet beautifully offsets with Hildy's sunshine-yellow jewelry and Trista's daring leopard-print coat. Mauricet completely conveys the women's differing style senses while tethering them through similar color palettes.
Characterization is paramount in any fantasy/sci-fi story. An absurdist plot can easily surpass the interest readers have in its characters. Thankfully, Kwitney's razor-sharp dialogue and outspoken, constantly-bantering women protagonists will draw readers in from their first interaction.
In one issue, G.I.L.T. already begs for a film or television adaptation. The characters feel instantly iconic, and anyone could easily imagine those dazzling outfits translated on the big screen. AHOY Comics has another hit series in the making.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
References to specific '70s historical events and iconography may fly over the heads of some readers, but will not detract from reading enjoyment.
There's an extended monologue the doorman gives to Trista at the beginning that seems overexplanatory, but I wonder whether the multitudinous details will be relevant later on in the comic series.
The amount of dialogue, image details, and artistic/textual pop culture/historical references are so dense, you'll probably have to read G.I.L.T. #1 more than once to catch everything!
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Another series from AHOY Comics, Planet of the Nerds also involves time travel between the present-day and an identifiable prior decade in American history. G.I.L.T. similarly works on an artistically attractive level. But more importantly, both comic series adeptly point out the hypocrisy and critique nostalgic romanticization of problematic elements in the U.S. from past eras. G.I.L.T. #1 doesn't merely reference fun shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, but distinctly pinpoints the moral faults within the fictional marriage between Jeannie and Tony. The comic allows readers to both recognize and reevaluate specific pieces of culture.
Any fan of time-travel and wacky sci-fi should read G.I.L.T. for its snarky main female protagonists and breathtakingly stylish art. The dialogue is lengthy, but relevant to the mysterious story unfolding as we turn each page.
G.I.L.T. #1 is a gorgeously rendered throwback to the '70s, flavored with spicy cultural commentary through its hilarious, progressive main characters.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Mystik U by Alisa Kwitney & Mike Norton
Ash & Thorn by Mariah McCourt & Soo Lee
Planet of the Nerds by Paul Constant & Alan Robinson
If you like the art:
Star Wars Adventures by Cavan Scott, Delilah S. Dawson, Nick Brokenshire, Derek Charm, & Mauricet
Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys by Frank Tieri, Jimmy Palmiotti, & Mauricet
Snelson: Comedy Is Dying by Paul Constant & Fred Harper
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Alisa Kwitney – Writer (@akwitney)
Prolific: Alisa Kwitney was an editor at DC Comics/Vertigo and is the Eisner-nominated author of graphic novels, romantic women’s fiction and urban fantasy.
Award-Winner: Alisa has an MFA from Columbia University. Her thesis, Till the Fat Lady Sings, a comedy of manners about college and eating disorders, made The New York Times’ new and noteworthy in paperback list.
Multitalented: She has done improv and enjoys singing, dancing, and hiking.
Mauricet – Illustrator (@Mauricet34)
Mauricet is a comic book illustrator who has worked for DC Comics, Image Comics, AHOY Comics, and Humanoids.
Mauricet has also worked as a pixel artist and concept designer for Commodore 64, Nes and Gameboy games.
Outlander: He currently resides in Belgium.
Rob Steen – Letterer (@RobSteen4)
Rob is the resident letterer at AHOY Comics. You can’t pick up an AHOY issue without finding his name!
Prolific: He has lettered for all major comic book companies like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Valiant, to name a few.
Award Winner: Rob illustrated a children’s book series called Flanimals, written by Ricky Gervais. They won the Galaxy British Book Award in 2007 for Children’s Book of the Year.
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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All G.I.L.T. #1 characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Alisa Kwitney & Mauricet, or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED