Cow Boy: Blurred Lines
“Cow Boy: Chapter One” is brought to us by the innovative minds of Nate Cosby (Marvel/Image/Dark Horse) and Chris Eliopoulos (Misery Loves Sherman). “Chaper One” is a spaghetti western that follows a hardened boy named Boyd as he fights his way through the west in search of a bounty. Although it’s a bit slow to put on its boots, Cow Boy: Chapter One is an amusing and witty adventure that appeals to kids and adults alike.
The story picks up with pint sized Boyd riding into a dusty town looking for a reclusive bounty. Boyd is what Clint Eastwoods’ inner child would probably look like if he was about two and a half heads high. Bounty hunting for Boyd proves to be a bit more difficult than anticipated when he realizes that one has to be a bit older than 10 years old to enter a bar where valuable information is being held. With a unflinching grimace, Boyd uses the only other form of negotiation that a kid his age would – a semi-automatic horse gun. Backed up against a wall, Boyd has to shoot and fight his way to his criminal prize.
Cow Boy is presented as a gigantic caricature of a Hollywood Western. We’ve got the whole roster here - the feeble but ultimately helpful bartender, the mustache twirling bad guy, and the rough and tumble yet honest hero. Chris Eliopoulos’ has created an extremely animated and illustrative world. Like “Misery Loves Sherman”, characters feel extremely fluid and their facial expressions are energetic enough to tell the story on their own. Characters pop off the page with the kinetic energy and the art seamlessly flows from panel to panel with ease – this story definitely benefits from the organic flow its art.
“Chapter One” successfully manages to blur the lines between a childrens book and a mature title. There is a a glimmer of maturity buried beneath Boyds animated and colorful story. These undertones, like abandonment and anger are executed in such a passive way that it comes across more like a quiet nudge. These issues ultimately bring characters like Boyd more credibility and substance to an otherwise straight forward story. Although this balance of humor and maturation is the books strongest aspect most of the time, it can inadvertently be its most pronounced weakness when trying to set up the story.
There is quite a bit of “set-up” time for the intro of the story, and it the book could have benefited from a faster tempo, especially in establishing Boyds character. “Chaper One” is five parts long and I couldn’t help but feel that the entire story could have been easily wrapped up in about three. Since this is an “orgin” story of sorts, I’m assuming that the story will pick up pace in upcoming chapters. It’s a small criticism for an otherwise fleshed out book.
Cow Boy has the unique ability of surprising it’s readers. There’s a definite splash of sophistication to its cartoonish and caricatured world. Characters, emotional tugs, and style are the stars here. Although the book picks up a bit slow, it’s an obvious recommendation for any fans of unique spaghetti westerns. Currently, you can read Cow Boy: Chapter One digitally here (http://cowboycomic.net/
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.