Mama Tits Saves the World

by , ; Published by

Reviewed by 15-Sep-16

Well-meaning, but insubstantial, Northwest Press’ one-shot tale of a drag-queen crusader, Mama Tits Saves The World, looks like it ought to be a lot of fun, but fails to deliver.

Mama Tits Saves The World reviewTits Out For the GLAADS!

Mama Tits is a drag queen/entertainer/activist in the Seattle area of the USA, who became famous when she confronted and shut down anti-gay hecklers at a 2014 Seattle Pride parade.

I found this out by Googling, because you certainly don’t get that info in this comic book, which assumes a whole bunch of prior knowledge on the part of the reader; anybody wandering into this “blank” is going to encounter a skimpy, unsatisfactory and very brief read for the not-inconsiderable sum of $5 (or circa £4.20 in real money – thank you, Brexit!).

Recreating the real-life Mama T’s exploit, the comic-book version also confronts hecklers, but has an epiphany – a vision of deceased LBGT activists, who grant her nebulous and non-specific super-powers (including flight, strength, danger sense and “bling rays”) when she utters the rather inelegant acronym “SHOQEM!”

Thus empowered, she tackles a variety of roman-a-clef homophobes whom we’re supposed to recognise (I got around half), and, realising that she can’t do it alone, suddenly and without explanation acquires a retinue of gaudily-costumed helpers, who may possess powers of their own, or, let’s be fair, may just be ordinary Pride-goers; some of the costumes get pretty out there! Only the man – excuse me, only the apparent cis-male (appearances are often deceptive in this milieu) – is even named; the rest, bupkis. Are we supposed to recognise any of them? Who knows? And there it ends, with a rather vague intended-to-be-uplifting message of unity.

Mama Tits Saves The World review Mama's Little Helpers

Mama’s Little Helpers: Who are these people? Why should we care? Our author gives us not One. Freakin’. Clue.

It means well; I’d really like to be more supportive of it, but I can’t. Northwest Press, a comics imprint devoted entirely to LGBT issues, has been doing some sterling work over the last six years, but is often hampered by uneven or non-existent distribution through Diamond (usually a random three out of five issues ordered turn up, particularly frustrating with an ongoing), and their mail order inevitably results in items being mangled to fuck and unsaleable, so that isn’t a viable option.

It’s a pity that one of the very few Northwest publications to make it over to the Old Country unscathed and uncensored is so… anodyne.

Our author, Charles “Zan” Christensen, who in fairness has done superior work elsewhere, doesn’t make it  work as a comedy. It doesn’t work as a parody. And it doesn’t work as an adventure. It’s barely a narrative; more an anecdote.

Terry Blas’ art is pleasant, though unchallenged, and Marissa Louise’s colouring is rather lovely.

But if the intent was to tie-in with the perceived fame of the hostess/heroine, then surely some greater effort should have been made to make the story pop, instead of flop?

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