Gun Street Girl

Wickerman Studios - Gun Street Girl - Volume 1

Our current rave [for digital graphic novels] has to be Gun Street Girl . . . Sassy, smart, and socially subversive…

–Diane Anderson-Minshall, Curve Magazine, Volume 15 #4, page 87

…It is possible to inject a bit of grit into a story without relapsing into nihilism and macho posturing. For proof of this, look no further than Lien and Ryan Howe’s Gun Street Girl . . . This series puts the fun and humanity back into the genre of fantastical noir; you could see it as a more feminine and upbeat take on “Hellblazer,” though perhaps it more closely resembles “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” if it had been a comic by Will Eisner.

…With comics stories, it’s all in the execution, and on this . . . GSG is outstanding. Lien . . . has a sharp ear for dialogue, and the characters of Liz and Eddie have an instant chemistry.

    Lien manages to craft a character who is neither tiresome nor artificial. Part of it may be the fact that, for a change, the character is actually being written by a woman. Liz is an appealing mix of feistiness and innocence—without being cynically “empowered” or bland. She’s merely of the mindset of a typical (well, “realistic”, at least) college age girl with a love for the counterculture and a sense of adventure.

      The art, by Ryan Howe, is a great match with the story, featuring, yes, heavy shadows and nicely textured backgrounds; rather than rendering Liz’s world bleak and morbid, it adds just the right note of danger and excitement. He . . . does an excellent job of conveying character, whether it be the twinkle in Eddie’s eye or the way Liz’s attitude puffs up a relatively slender frame.

      The Spirit is clearly the influence here, and like that classic strip, the pulp stylishness is never allowed to overwhelm the storytelling. But more to the point, the grit of these stories is the grit of everyday life—and it only serves to give the fanciful stories that extra bit of texture.

–Adam Prosser

Packed with sly socio-political observations, designed to subvert all reader expectations, and by turns savvy, sexy, and delightfully strange, Gun Street Girl does more than inject a badly needed dose of fresh blood into the sadly anemic action-adventure genre — it also heralds the arrival of a writer of real promise, invention and wit who is possessed of an original vision and voice. . . . Barb Lien-Cooper proves . . . that she’s a real force to be reckoned with, and she will not be ignored. 

If you haven’t been reading Gun Street Girl, you’re simply missing out . . . 

–Bill Baker, comics journalist and reviewer

Creepy and cool.  GSG fills a much-needed niche in the current world of comics. It features a strong young woman, bucking conventional wisdom and performing what is traditionally only a man’s job: Hired gun. She does the job well, without showing her cleavage every third panel . . .

—Jane Irwin, creator, Vogelein

Gun Street Girl has the charm of a serial killer and the magic of a sage. It is a delightful and clever combination of mythology and mayhem.

—David Gallaher, writer, High Moon, Iron Man: Threaded Web, Hulk: The Winter Guard 

GSG rules… I have been reading from day 1, and I’m loving every minute of it.

 —Maritza Campos, College Roomies from Hell!!! 

It’s a rare comic that can vary its tone and approach while retaining its individual voice. Barb Lien-Cooper & Ryan Howe’s Gun Street Girl is that rare comic. Dramatic, comedic and action-packed, GSG consistently delivers turbocharged pacing laced with the wittiest dialogue in webcomics. A tough balancing act? You bet. But Barb and Ryan deliver it so effortlessly, I forget about the craft involved and get caught up in the incredible world they’ve created. Too cool!

–Steve Bryant, Athena Voltaire

Gun Street Girl resembles much that has come before on TV and cinema screens, in pulp novels, comics and video games yet it doesn’t indulge in pastiche. It rather creates a new whole; wholly familiar and wholly new.

At the heart of the story, GSG is a buddy story, focusing on Liz Pendragon, the hired gun of mage-for-hire, Eddie Caution. The two characters have a genuine chemistry, moving beyond the basic brains/brawn concept and refusing to be absolutely defined by any single adjective. Lien-Cooper’s dialogue is quick and punchy, while her plots feature a number of intriguing cliffhangers and hooks… It’s very difficult to nail down any sort of comparison for this title, but it makes me think of a lighter-toned Hellblazer, featuring elements that will appeal to fans of Fables. Whatever the case, Gun Street Girl is an excellent webcomic with storytelling exceeding many books you’ll find in the comic shop. I’d highly recommend it.

–Fletcher Adams,

There are some truly nifty supernatural ideas running through the narrative, and some genuinely likable characters. I’m a sucker for this kind of action/psycho-horror genre anyway (witness my love of Buffy, Hellblazer, Lost Boys and even Charmed) but if Gun Street Girl retains her title for anything, it’s for Barb’s ability to pace a story.

What can I say? Well-written, well-drawn, well-crafted stories with real characters and kick-ass action. I can’t not give it to Gun Street Girl. If you haven’t yet tried it . . . take a look.

–Regie K. Rigby, Destination Venus (comic books, graphic novels, and more– Harrogate, UK)

It is a brilliant fusion of some of the best elements of Dr. Strange, Hellblazer, and Strangers in Paradise, which works really well

It is well-written with believable dialogue, a touch of humour and a side order of great plot ideas. The characters are appealing, charismatic, 3-dimensional, believable and interesting, which only makes you want to read more of their exploits. 

The artwork by Ryan Howe is very professional, yet isn’t off the production line, like a lot of the stuff that comes out of the DC or Marvel camps. The artwork here is every bit as professional as the mainstream stuff yet has that important X factor that gives it bona fide soul. The artwork shows that you can be consistent and professional and have good quality artwork, but you can also be stylistic and interesting at the same time.

In short, Howe’s artwork shows them how it should be done. This comic is the sort of thing that makes this all worthwhile. It is the all-too rare diamond in a massive pile of cut glass.

–Glenn Carter, 

…A lively comic that’s sure to please fans of the urban fantasy — or anyone else who just likes a great story!

–Sequential Tart

I have always been told by so-called experts that online comics just aren’t as good as the ones you can hold in your hands. Well, I’m happy to say that Gun Street Girl blasts that ridiculous myth to bits!

Liz is clearly the star of this comic book. She is a tough as nails, take-no-crap-from-anyone girl! And, God have mercy on anyone who messes with Liz’s girlfriend! Liz has no magical or super powers, aside from her toughness and the ability to make the reader want to know more about her, but her new partner is a magician. There’s just one problem. Eddie is sometimes lucky if he can conjure up a cup of coffee, much less a magical spell! Together, Liz and Eddie aren’t out to save the world – just their own butts and maybe get by until they get paid.

Lien-Cooper’s excellent, well-paced storytelling is complimented by the art of Ryan Howe. Howe illustrates an incredible comic that could go toe to toe with anything that you might find on the shelves today. However, Howe’s work stands out from the masses. Howe’s work doesn’t have that assembly-lined, looks-like-everyone-else look to it. Howe has a distinctive style that gives this comic book an even more gritty feel.

It’s hard to classify Gun Street Girl. Gun Street Girl is a smart, sexy, action-adventure comic with extremely believable and likable characters. At times Gun Street Girl feels like the movie Get Carter. Then [sometimes], Gun Street Girl turns into an eerie horror flick. In fact, Gun Street Girl has so far read like a really good movie. Hollywood would be wise to check this one out! I think it is safe to say that you won’t find anything else like Gun Street Girl – on the spinner racks or online. And that’s what I look for in a comic book!

Magic and bullets interact on an even playing field as we follow Liz Pendragon, sub-par stripper turned hired gun, and Eddie Caution, a limited conjurer and crap occultist. Together, the two continually find themselves battling for their lives in the preternatural mists that seem to glide between the moments of London. Witch hunts, Japanese Bird Warriors, public transportation, Casablanca, fairy tale miscreants, hoards of fezzed primates with sticky blood, James Bondisms, and magic’s somewhat arcane and sexist definitions. Nothing appears to be beyond the reach of the creative team behind this book. Ryan Howe’s skill continues to grow with ever panel as he assists the amazing talent presented through Barbara Lien-Cooper’s words.

Gun Street Girl manages to satisfy all the requirements for an action/adventure series while filling more than a daily quotient of humor, social commentary, and occult charm. Barbara Lien-Cooper . . . has created something that has not been seen in quite some time, a strong female heroine whose sexual identity can exist supplemental to the topic at hand, all the while being integral to how we understand the character. What the previous statement fails on several levels to efficiently explain is really quite simple. Liz is a lesbian. To be more accurate, Liz is a kickass lesbian who can out-think, out-fight, and out-drink most guys, if given the chance.

–SMC– Small Media Comics