BITCHY BITCHOriginal Medium: Comic books
Published by: Fantagraphics Books
First Appeared: 1990
Creator: Roberta Gregory
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everything a female lead character in comics isn't supposed to be, and that's the secret of her success.
Bitchy's name seems like an obvious riff on Harvey Comics' Richie Rich (tho cartoonist Roberta Gregory, who created Bitchy, actually patterned it after Peter Bagge's Girly Girl). The name is the only point of similarity between Richie and Bitchy, however. Bitchy is a fortyish, unmarried working woman whose behavior is seldom sweet or generous, and one gets a strong impression menopause won't even put a dent in her permanent state of PMS. When she gets angry, which is often, she undergoes what looks like a physical transformation. Her snarling lips and gritting teeth sprawl beyond the boundaries of her face, and the curves of her body — what few there are — become hard and sharp.
From this lump of rather one-note clay, Gregory has fashioned a three-dimensional character, sympathetic enough to have held the attention of readers for more than a decade. Bitchy and her milieu (which came to include obnoxious ex-boyfriend Kenny, fundamentalist Christian co-worker Marcie, lesbian cousin-in-spirit Bitchy Butch, etc.) debuted in Naughty Bits #1, a black and white comic book published in 1990 by Fantagraphics Books, and have been running ever since.
Fantagraphics keeps Gregory's Bitchy Bitch stories in print, in trade paperbacks. Also, Bitchy was adapted into a live stage production in March of 1995, with Maggie Bloodstone in the title role. She currently appears in the form of a comic strip, syndicated in several weekly tabloids, including Seattle Weekly, New York Press and others. Lately, she's been appearing in Internet animations made by Cinemaria, a Montreal producer; and those animations have made the jump to cable TV — they now appear on X-Chromosome, a weekend night show on The Oxygen Network.
Tho Bitchy Bitch hasn't become a household word in her own country (the U.S. market isn't kind to comics that aren't about superheroes), she's enjoyed considerable success overseas. Apparently, her simple message — that there are things in this world that are worth getting really, really steamed about — strikes a responsive chord wherever humans are human.