The Wild West is one of those iconic genres that conjures images of open plains and rugged landscapes. The Western genre has become a part of every storytelling medium, including comics. Western comics such as DC’s All-Star Western and Vertigo’s Preacher series have kept the genre going from strength to strength for around a century. I’m looking into the history of Western comics to see how they’ve developed and what makes them so enduring. Continue reading “Gun-Slingers, Outlaws And Anti-Heroes: A History Of Western Comics”
A movement that’s gained a lot of popularity in recent years is steampunk, and with its mixture of old and new technology, it’s not hard to see why people are interested in it. The interesting thing about steampunk is that there are so many variations, such as the dieselpunk and weird west genres. Several of these genres were on display at the TimeQuake Steampunk Convention in Manchester. Given my interest in steampunk I was looking forward to seeing what was there and I wasn’t disappointed.
Birds symbolise a variety of things, from the freedom of the sky, to a young person asserting their independence. Birds play a big part in Sanders and Jay Fabares’ The Pale, which sees avian enthusiast Franklin ‘Fink’ Ink confront his past in the Arizona desert. Ink also works for the FBI as a linguist and it puts him into contact with the sheriff of a small town. But Fink is hiding something crucial about himself that could make or break the case. The Comic Vault was sent The Pale #1 and #2 in exchange for an honest review.
Garth Ennis’ Preacher series has made a name for itself by being one of the most blasphemous and violent stories in comic book history. Preacher: Book Three is no exception, as Jesse Custer goes on a psychedelic road trip to New Orleans. The Saint of Killers past is also explored and merges with the present to create a narrative that gives readers a complete picture of two foes locked into a game of cat and mouse.
The Wild West was famed for its lawlessness and represented a chaotic scramble for survival. Dave West and Gary Crutchley’s WesterNoir series is an entertaining supernatural western that follows the exploits of Josiah Black. Black works for the shady Mister Caligary as a monster hunter. But Black’s usefulness to Caligary only goes so far, and that’s the focus of WesterNoir: Book Four. Crutchley sent a copy of the graphic novel over to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a published author, and I’m pleased to announce my latest short story Shadows At Dawn has been published by Hyperion and Theia. The story is part of an anthology called Volume One: Saturnalia, which is also the inaugural edition for the publisher. The anthology features several stories around otherworldly themes.
Since discovering Garth Ennis’ Preacher series, I’ve been entertained by the themes of religion and violence. A stand out character is the Saint of Killers, a supernatural cowboy who doubles as the Angel of Death. Introduced as a villain, the Saint was dispatched by Heaven to track down Jesse Custer and kill him. But as the series progressed, he was revealed to be much more than just a one-note gunslinger.
The Wild West was a time of uncertainty and chaos, a time where men were forced to find civilisation among the wilderness. When you add a supernatural element to that kind of atmosphere, you have an intriguing story. This is the case with Dave West’s and Gary Crutchley’s WesterNoir series, featuring monster hunter, Josiah Black. Book Two takes Black into the swamps of Louisiana to deal with a cold-blooded threat against humanity.
The best kind of stories can creep up on you when you least expect it, which is what I found when I came across Eric Powell’s Hillbilly: Volume 1. Powell is best known for creating The Goon comics and after reading Hillbilly, I can say he’s one hell of a writer. The graphic novel focuses on Rondel, a supernatural wanderer in the Appalachian wilderness who battles monsters, witches and demons. It’s part western, part fantasy and a damn good read.
Over the past couple of years I’ve really come to appreciate western stories, which is why I was excited to read the WesterNoir: Book One graphic novel created by Dave West and Gary Crutchley. Published by Accent UK, the series combines horror, western and steampunk themes to show the darker side of human nature. The protagonist, Josiah Black, finds himself drawn into a world that he didn’t think existed, but has no choice but to embrace it if he wants to survive.