Hey El Moochadors! Last Sunday I was able to attend the So Cal Comic-Con in Oceanside, California. I wasn’t able to stay too long, but I did make a pass through looking for some nifty pieces of geek-art and independent comics. Honestly there was some great stuff there. Unfortunately I didn’t have any time this week to post about it, but I hope over the weekend I can share some of the awesome things that I found.
Anyhow, I wanted to start with The Dark Hours by BLB Media. I spotted this cool looking black and white issue towards the back of the con, had a brief chat with one of the writers and illustrator (Kyle Roberts), and picked up an issue signed by both him and the other writer (B. Luciano Barsuglia). Over this past week I’ve had the opportunity to go through it a couple times (mostly on my lunch break), and I have to say that I enjoyed it. Below is a brief synopsis on their website about the issue:
Isolated on the American frontier the town of Redemption casts a dark shadow. The arrival of a stranger forces long kept secrets into the light and reveals a greater threat to the town and its inhabitants. Judgment awaits the living and the dead as a forlorn group of gunfighters and settlers must fight for their lives against a primeval supernatural terror. Night approaches, and with it comes The Dark Hours.
Okay, so in this issue, this mysterious guy, Judge, rides into town and puts a corrupt sheriff out of a job with a couple dozen bullets. One of the questions I have about this story is why Judge did this. Is he some supernatural being (an angel?) that roams the frontier dishing out justice (like pistol wielding Michael Landon)? Or did he have a history with this Sheriff and was getting revenge? That didn’t really seem the case because the sheriff (the “Bean”) didn’t seem to recognize him. Also, Judge seemed to have an uncanny knowledge of the sins of those he confronted. Anyhow, that’s probably something that will be answered in later issues. This leaves an open position for a new sheriff, which is filled by a reluctant deputy named Darby (who has his own encounter with a strange top hat wearing character).
I don’t want to give away too much more about the book, spoiling it, so I guess I’ll move on to what I thought (or the critique). As I said I really enjoyed this book. I might be a little biased because I’m a fan of both horror and western stories, so when you mix the two it’s like peanut butter on pancakes (fucking awesome!). Still, I think the supernatural elements were kept subtle enough to allow for some mystery and questions, and not too in your face allowing you to enjoy the western elements, which I appreciated. That lets me be curious to know what happens in the next couple issues and find out what the deal is with Judge and some of the other mysterious characters of the story (like the Top Hat/Whip guy). I guess it’s ramping up to all the horror and darkness, and supernatural goodness, which I like, and not dropping it on your head like a bowling ball from page one. Also I liked that it was black and white. That might just be some weird nostalgic thing on my part, but for some reason I love it when independents are kept black and white. I dunno…
I do feel there’s room for improvement for the artwork, mostly with proportions and perspective. However, I also feel like that’s going to improve with time, so I don’t feel like I can be too critical there. After all, check out first few issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and see where that went.
Overall I do recommend that you check out this book and show these guys some support. Make sure you visit their website, also it looks like they’re going to be at the Long Beach Comic & Horror Con on November 23 and 24. I’m actually thinking about driving up to that one… if I can get my transmission fixed by then that is. That’s all for tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more tomorrow. I need to think of decent sign off, so I guess until then I’ll just say LATER!