As Weird West Week here on Geekin’ has just passed us by, I’ve been looking forward to this book for a number of days now. And it was well worth the weight. First, I want to talk about the art. Emma Rios does an amazing job at bringing the old-west feel to this comic, while immersing you in a whole new world with vibrant characters and expressions. Rios is one of those artists that I’d love to see a wordless comic book by. I’d love to see her tell a story with just the art.
Jordie Bellaire does the color on this, and while I don’t give colorists the credit their due, I do want to stop and take notice of this one. The colors Bellaire chooses help set the tone, which is extremely important in an old-west setting. I’m really pleased with it.
Kelly Sue DeConnick writes a creepy, but compelling story, leaving you with enough mystery to pull you in and make you want to come back for more. It’s a hard balance in a first issue, to give you enough to feel interested and come back to by the next issue without giving away too much all at once, but not so little as to keep you from making a connection to any of the characters and make you put down the comic and go “Who CARES what happens next issue?”
DeConnick’s characters in this book are interesting from the moment they step on the page. A blind old man and a little girl with a vulture cloak tell a sing-song story to a crowd in an old-west town, afterwards the little girl collects tips. They tell the story of a beautiful woman who’s husband is so afraid of losing her that he locks her away in a tower. She prays to death to take her, and he instead falls in love with her. After she gives birth to his child, he grants her wish and lets her spirit go. Death raises the child, Ginny, to be a “reaper of vengeance, a hunter of men who have sinned”.
While that sounds compelling in and of itself, you HAVE to buy this book. You HAVE to read this. I can’t do it justice, you have to read the song they sing as they tell this story.
The little girl pickpockets a piece of paper from one of the men in town, which she later uses to help the blind man light his cigarette with. Though blind, he somehow instinctively knows this paper is bad news. (He IS blind, right?) As they hold up at the house of a woman named Sarah, with her children. Sarah refers to the blind man as Fox. Back in town, “Big Alice” shows up at a brothel, looking for the man who was pickpocketed. She shoots him to gain information about the paper, he insists its in his vest, but all she finds is a black vulture feather… and sets off after the blind man and the girl with the vulture cloak. (How does she know which way to do? That’s what next issue is for!)
So, again, this was a great first issue comic. Also, at the end was a one part mini-story by Chad Collier, illustration by Summer Suzuki. It was a cute little story called ‘The Disgrace of the Scoundrels Johnny Coyote and the Lady Molly Raven as Seduced by a Beguiling Moon’. How can you not love that title?
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