When wealthy parents can't control their rebellious teenage daughters, they might choose to send the girls to reform school. But what happens when these elite darlings are "reformed" into lab rats and mindless killers? "Broken Girls," an original graphic on sale now from Ancient Squid Media, seeks to answer this all-too-pressing question. CBR News caught up with the writing team of Rob Beales and Cuitla Huezo to discuss the project.
"'Broken Girls' is about badass schoolgirls fighting mutated hordes of blood-thirsty maniacs. It's nonstop action," Huezo said. Beales added that readers will also see "strong characters being put to the test" and described the book as "quite simply the culmination of everything we want in a comic."
As to what "everything" might entail, the two writers had little trouble elaborating.
"Girls, crazy action…” Beales began.
"And…?" Huezo asked.
"That's my whole list,” Beales confessed.
More specifically, the story revolves around a group of spoiled rich girls who are shuttled off to boarding school. These girls, according to Huezo, are not simply your uptight trust fund kids, but the most "troubled, violent kids from influential families." The school, though, is also a very particular institution: its hallowed halls serve as a prison and secret drug testing laboratory, with the sociopathic debutantes employed against their will as test subjects. Things get more complicated when a chemical spill turns most of the already-disturbed youths into mindless killers, with a small group left to fight their way to freedom or die trying.
"The story revolves around Jesse Harper, an angry young lady who can kick ass and take names," Beales told CBR. Once confined to the school, she meets "Mia, the foxy nerd; Veronica, the big bitch on campus; and Stephanie."
"Stephanie is basically bat-shit crazy," Huezo said. "Stephanie's been through more experimentation than anyone."
The girls, Beales explained, are ideal test subjects because trying out the new drugs on deranged teens means the lab technicians areÂ "experimenting on the target market." "These scientists are looking for the next wonder-Ritalin or Prozac, and so who better to test on than the very people you want to control?"
Huezo added that the world outside the school's walls, including the girls' parents, have no idea about the institution's secret purpose. "The experimentation is done in secret labs underneath the school and, because the whole facility is in the middle of nowhere, the outside world isn't aware of its existence," he said. "One of the guards has a line about trying to escape and that even if you got out, you'd still be a hundred miles from nowhere."
In a word, Huezo said, "I would describe 'Broken Girls' as awesome."
"I would use the word 'explo-tastic,'" Beales offered.
Beales and Huezo are also preparing a limited release of their graphic novel, "Water Fight," through Ancient Squid Media, a story which, quite apart from "Broken Girls," Huezo describes as featuringÂ "a bunch of neighborhood kids having the biggest water war ever."
"Broken Girls" is on sale now from Ancient Squid Media.