After a series of events stemming from an altercation at a sparsely-attended show in a dive bar, all-girl rock band Misfit Toys accelerate towards realising their dream of recognition and using their music to make a difference. However, many men would like nothing more than to see ambitious young women fail, and as the band’s star ascends so does the determination to take them down.
Nasty Girls is a timely title that uses its tale of a band on the rise to address the misogyny that many people would like to believe isn’t unacceptably prevalent. The story is saturated with a heavily feminist aesthetic that reflects real-life issues women contend with on a constant basis, ones that people with the privilege of not having to endure have started becoming truly aware of only in recent years.
For the most part the central quintet operate as a unit, and so not all of them have the opportunity to emerge as distinct characters, with only creative singer-songwriter Lexx and firebrand guitarist Mercy making any real kind of individual impact. Although that said, small snatches of dialogue suggest intimate knowledge of each other’s histories, indicating there are no secrets between the girls, and that as well as operating as a musical group they are also close friends.
Although the girls’ defiant attitudes make them heroines to root for against the relentless chauvinism of both the music industry and everyday life, the violence and vandalism they engage in shows they’re not exactly the role model material that their nascent career trajectory might look to portray them as. However, this makes them engagingly flawed people instead of boring paragons of virtue, and besides, who among us didn’t do and say stupid stuff when we were young, and how many of you are fortunate that there was no social media back then to immortalise it?
The villains of the piece are decidedly average men, sexist morons who find their sense of self-worth threatened by a bunch of mere girls having the audacity to aspire to be something other than the shy retiring wallflowers they’ve been told they should act as. So devoid of thoughts of their own, they echo the monotonous language of internet tolls in an attempt to shut down anything they disagree with, only highlighting their own ignorance in the process.
Nasty Girls is a great opening to what has the potential to develop into a compelling story, and with deeper machinations suggested to be mounting against its heroines, the scale only has the potential to increase.Nasty Girls: Vol 1 | Author: Erin Keepers | Artist: Catriona Laird, Gaby Epstein | Publisher: Cult Empire Comics | Format: Trade Paperback | Release Date: Out Now