Comics are often created and consumed by outcasts, and Bakersfield, Earth tells the story of an outcast like no other. David Quantic (writer) crafts a story of a rogue alien, “the last remaining member of an alien race from Jupitor called ‘The Corporeals,’” who inhabited the Earth long before humans, creating familiar marvels of the ancient world like the pyramids, Stonehenge (Actually, that was the Martians when they were visiting, but still . . . ), and cheese fries. The Corporeals roamed the Earth delighting in sensual pleasures until they were all called back to Jupitor by their leader Kaa’laa. Except our protagonist stayed. Not wanting to give up the earthly pleasures, our protagonist hid out, occupying human bodies who passed away, taking on their identities. Quickly, and with good humor and wit, Quantic and Bonvillain bring us up to speed and then introduce us to the newest host, a transgender woman living in Bakersfield, CA. “Bako” isn’t exactly a progressive metropolis, and alien-inhabited Betrice Connelly struggles with narrow-mindedness, verbal abuse, and physical violence as she continues seeking a place for herself. Unfortunately, she is a fugitive of her race, and, ultimately, she realizes she has more than just hateful hillbillies to worry about.
This comic is full of humor and heart. Quantic’s writing is electric, filled with energy, wit, and charm. His dialogue is natural and funny and gives his characters instant depth and magnetism. Tamra Bonvillain, whom you may recognize as the colorist for Joshua Henaman’s comic, Bigfoot: Sword of Earthman, did both art and color for BE, and she shines, exhibiting her skills in several different styles. From infographic to fantasy to our modern, grubby reality, she imbues the characters and panels with dynamism and weight not often seen in indie comics. Quantic and Bonvillain leave us on a cliff hanger, so here’s hoping there’s more, much more Bakersfield, Earth very soon!