Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Moth Woman Vigilantes

Written and illustrated by Deborah Klein. Laser printed, saddle stitched. Edition of 80, 21.5 x 15.5 cm; signed and numbered: $12.00

The Story of the Moth Masks was one of the first fairy tales I wrote. It morphed out of a series of small paintings and linocuts I was making at the time and was eventually incorporated into There was once… The collected fairy tales (2009). 

The Moth Woman Vigilantes are much more subversive: a group of anonymous women with apparent super powers who (for reasons that are at this point unclear) have decided to take the law into their own hands. Are they on the side of Good or Evil? This is entirely in the eyes of the beholder. They are distantly related to the characters in the fairy tale - in fact, their aliases (The Virgin Tiger, etc.) are based on the common names of moths. But the Vigilantes are also direct descendents of film noir femme fatales, comic book super heroes and super villains (not that I’ve ever been a huge comic book reader) and the old B-movies and serials I love so much, particularly the French silent film serial Fantomas (1913-14). (Incidentally, the anti-hero Fantomas was also admired by members of the Surrealist movement, including Rene Magritte.) There’s probably a little bit of Joss Whedon’s Buffy in them too, although the morally ambiguous Vigilantes appear to be more reminiscent of her nemesis Faith.

The Moth Woman Vigilantes zine has already spawned the mini-zine Moth Woman Vigilantes: a Menace to Society (see blog post directly below) so it’s fairly certain we haven’t seen the last of them.