Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly-Comic


Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Things are never easy for the Man With No Name.
He's now got competition for that train of gold.

The violence is as raw as the landscape as Dixon and Polls continue to put their stamp on this iconic character.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dracula, The Complete-Comic

#3 of 5

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Moore and Reppion hit their stride in this third issue of their complete adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The eerie suspense is captured perfectly in both word and picture as Van Helsing moves front and center in the effort to solve the mystery of little children becoming victims of the the "bloofer" lady.

It's a perfect setting of the stage for our band of vampire hunters to track down the Count.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sherlock Holmes-Comic


Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

The game is afoot!
And Holmes stands accused of murder!

Moore & Reppion continue their locked-room mystery, as Dr Watson and Inspector Lestrade work to clear the name of the great detective.

With Aaron Campbell's art wonderfully evoking the Victorian era, this is a winner.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly-Comic


Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Get excited western fans!
Writer Chuck Dixon's take on The Man With No Name is the next best thing to being a theater viewing a Dollars Trilogy movie, that is.

It's a dark story of the pursuit of gold, that gets heated up now that "Blondie" has Miles Devereaux to find that train.

It's not a world for the timid or weak.

The art of Estevez Polls captures the barren western landscapes perfectly, and Dixon, well, Dixon knows this character.
And that's a good thing.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dracula, The Complete-Comic

#2 of 5

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

The bloody saga of Count Dracula continues as writers Moore & Reppion and ,painter Colton Worley provide comics readers with not only a faithful adaptation of Stoker's classic, but also what will surely be regarded for some time to come as the definitive edition.

Issue #2 concentrates on the fate of the doomed Lucy.

Worley's art is front and center, as it perfectly captures the dark gothic mood of the story.
Some panels are frame-worthy; others, however, can be a bit disconcerting as they take on a photographic quality. But this is to quibble.

Overall, the telling thus far is a delight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly-Comic


Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Writer Chuck Dixon continues to assert his ownership of The Man With No Name in the second issue of Dynamite's new western title, which revives the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood-created character from those Dollars Trilogy spaghetti westerns of the 60's.

If there was any doubt Mr Dixon would be able to maintain the laconic temperament of the drifting loner, it is dispelled with this second issue.

The violent search for gold and Miles Devereaux continues.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dracula, The Complete-Comic

#1 of 5

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment, 2009.

Leah Moore and John Reppion adapt Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale.
And they are off to a good start.
With painted art by Colton Worley, and the writing team's commitment to remaining faithful to their source material, Count Dracula receives the best treatment he's received in a while.
Lucky count.

Purists will surely notice the story opens with, not the beginning of the novel, but with Stoker's short shorty, Dracula's Guest. "Complete" indeed.

The darkness and foreboding of Jonathon Harker's horrific journey are rendered masterfully in each panel, as Mina waits, and Renfield...

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Dynamite Entertainment has just announced they will publish a series on the life of Blackbeard beginning in Ocbtober.


Life just keeps getting better.

Kid Colt-One Shot

Publisher: Marvel, 2009.

Blaine Cole rides again!

Marvel Comics, to its ever-loving credit, has seen fit to revive, if only for this one time, what is arguably comic's most enduring western character, Kid Colt.
Bless 'em!

After having enjoyed the longest run of any western hero in comics, The Kid hasn't seen a lot of action since the demise of that run nigh onto 30 years ago now.
Consider that problem remedied.

Writer Tom Defalco reintroduces us to The Kid, giving us a complete story and an origin story in one issue.

Suffice it to say The Kid is out to clear his name.
With the aid of Hawkmoore, he sets out to find a witness who can help him accomplish this.
Alas, things are never easy for The Kid. There are those who want him dead, after all.

He'll have to blast his way through bounty killers and scavengers if he wants to live the life of an innocent man again.

The art recalls classic Kid Colts of the past, simple, not overly detailed or nuanced.
And the story is a good one.

Let's hope this lead to a full revival of Kid Colt with his own title.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Captain Blood-Comic


Publisher: SLG Publishing.


Captain Blood is Rafael Sabatini's classic tale of Peter Blood's transformation from English country doctor to slave to pirate captain.

Put it up there with Traesure Island.

Surprisingly, this is the first ever comic adaptation of this novel.

The debut issue introduces us to the hero by finding him already enslaved.
His back story is related to us by way of flashback.
The good doctor, during the Monmouth Rebellion, makes the grave mistake of providing succor to a wounded combatant on the wrong side of the fight.
He is tried and sentenced to death. But before he can be hanged, he is ordered as a slave to the Caribbean plantations.
Here, he is purchased by the brutally sadistic Kent.

Fortunately for our hero, the Spanish attack the English colony. An event exploited by Blood and his fellow slaves to effect an escape by capturing the victorious Spanish ship of Don Diego.

Thus the scene is set for high seas adventure.

Writer Matt Shepherd handles the adaptation perfectly, setting just the right pace for the drama and adventure.
The art by Michael Shoyket is also spot on, rending the people, places and times faithfully.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sherlock Holmes-Comic


Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment.

It is fair to say that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is one of fiction's great creations.
Eminently enjoyable, the many shorts stories, and few novels, in which the detective has appeared remain treasured by readers to this day.
Unfortunately, the number of those stories is finite.
So, it is with great satisfaction that we find Leah Moore and John Reppion here providing us with a worthy reincarnation of the great deducer.

The Trial Of Sherlock Holmes begins with a bang. And a dead man. And a suspect: Holmes himself!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly-Comic


Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Western fans, rejoice!
The Man With No Name is back--in comic book form.
That's right: Director Sergio Leone's and star Clint Eastwood's famous outlaw/hero from the Dollars Trilogy of movies, A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad & They Ugly has returned.
What a treat!

Readers should know that this title is not an adaptation of the movie, but all new adventures.

The good news is that it's obvious right of the box that writer Chuck Dixon is tuned in to the laconic loner who is more protagonist than old west hero.
He won't be saving women and orphans. But he will be summarily dispatching plenty of bad(worse) guys, in his own selfish pursuit of reward and gold. Which is exactly what we would expect from this character.

Most gratifying about this debut issue is that Dixon seems fully capable of capturing the intimate, yet operatic feel and pace of the movies, and without use of expository dialogue.

In other words, The Man With No Name isn't gonna talk your head...he's gonna blow it off!

Again, what a treat!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Captain Blood!

Amaze Ink has just published the 1st in a proposed 5-part series adapting Rafael Sabatini's classic pirate novel, Captain Blood.

Life is good.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly...In Comic Book Form!

My life just keeps getting better!

Dynamite Entertainment will, in July, begin publishing the comic book verision of Clint Eastwood's and Sergion Leone's classic spaghetti western, The Good, They Bad, & The Ugly.

The only way this could be any better is if it were in comic book form.

Oh, is!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kid Colt Rides Again!

Marvel is releasing a new Kid Colt one-shot on July 29!

Let's hope this leads to something.

Something big!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Invisible Hook

The Hidden Economics Of Pirates

Author: Peter Leeson
Publisher: Princeton, 2009

Arr! Economics and pirates!
Two of my favorite subjects.

I have high hopes for this book.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Fistful Of Dollars

Released: 1964
Director: Sergio Leone
Star:Clint Eastwood

This would be Clint Eastwood's first turn as The Man With No Name.
Teamed with director Sergio Leone in this remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Eastwood would create an iconic character that would redefine the western hero and influence many of Eastwood's subsequent movies.

By the time Fistful was released, Johns Ford and Wayne practically owned the western genre.
Ford had defined what a western was, how it looked and played out; and Wayne defined the western hero, how he acted, what moral code he adhered to.

Fistful changed all this.

Here was something new and exciting. Something for the Rock n Roll generation.
From the moment Clint Eastwood's character guns down four hombres for refusing to apologize to his mule, you know you're in for something new and different.

Eastwood's man with no name was more anti-hero than good guy with a white hat.

The plot of Fistful is simple: two families are engaged in a vendetta, and Eastwood's stranger determines to play one against the other to his financial advantage, changing allegiances each time it suits his purpose.

He is, to a great extent, in it for himself.
There is little honor to had from the situation.

It's a rough, raw world.
And Leone's stylized direction, Ennio Morricone's weird, infectious score, and Eastwood's laconic, shoot first and don't bother asking questions attitude are perfectly suited to it.

Though this is not the best of the Dollars Trilogy, it is the beginning, and it only gets better as it develops with each successive film.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Treasure Island

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Published 1883

This is it. The X that marks the spot. The touchstone. The cornerstone. The alpha and omega of all things piratical.

That it is still read and revered to this day is testament to its greatness. Yes, greatness.

Some may protest at this lofty assessment, arguing that it is simply a child's adventure story.
And they'd be right.
But therein lies it greatness.

It appeals to the imagination in a way that few works of literature ever have.

And it continues to resonate in the mind's eye long after childish things have been put away.

I'd put it on a par with Huckleberry Finn.

Some things you never forget. Like the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Billy Bones, Captain Flint, blind Pew, Squire Trelawney, Dr Livesey, Ben Gunn, Israel Hands, treasure maps, buried treasure, and of course Long John Silver.

Young Jim Hawkins suffers the fortune of enduring one of the great adventures of literature, sailing with dastardly pirates in search of gold.

And simply put, we all want to be Jim Hawkins.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kid Colt: Man With The Golden Hair

Publisher: Marvel
Status: Ceased publication 1979

Kid Colt, published from 1948 to 1979 was the longest running western in comic book history.

Blaine Colt was a strapping young buck who, after being wrongly accused of murder after avenging(in self defense) the murder of his father, rode the Wild West righting wrongs in places with names such as Dry Gulch.

With his fire-engine red shirt, cowhide vest, and white hat, he became a figure you could always count on to take the right side in a fight, and never back down.

With his trusty horse, Steel, Kid appeared in a simpler time, when there were few shades of grey, when his moral compass never failed to point to what was right, when he could kill the bad guys without remorse or regret.

He defended those who were unable to defend themselves.

He was a cowboy hero.

Though the story telling wasn't stellar(some were downright silly), it was always fun to watch the Kid put the bad guys in their place. Even if that place was sometimes Boot Hill.

Though the title was published until 1979, when western comic books had already fallen out of favor, a lot of the stories appearing in those later issues were reprints from earlier issues.

Sadly, Marvel has never seen fit to revive the Kid.

Good places to collect the Kid:
Mile High Comics
Nostalgia Zone

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why Westerns: I Owe It All To The Man With No Name

Of my childhood interests and pastimes, I could number among them neither comics, pirates, nor westerns.

As a child I had no interest westerns. Not movies, not books, not comics.
Cowboys didn't interest me.
For the longest time, I labored under the mistaken notion that western plots would be complicated, and I wouldn't have the patience to decipher them. Funny stuff, that.

I never cared much for John Wayne movies.

Maybe John Ford was a master of cinema, but all I saw was just another black and white cowboy movie.

Roy Rogers? Nah.

And western novels? Are you kidding me! No way.

These things just weren't exciting. They weren't cool.

But then, as always happens, you discover the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood, the Dollars Trilogy, Sergio Leone's masterpieces.
And you're hooked.
These are the gateway drug to all other westerns.
Ah, you're mind expands. And pretty soon you're watching an overweight, middle-aged Duke, and thinking, Yeah, this is cool.
You're hooked. You're a junkie.

But then it's over. The western has gone the way of the dinosaur. Where will get your next fix?

I'll tell you...

Why Pirates: I Owe It All To Jim Hawkins

Of my childhood interests and pastimes, I could number among them neither comics, pirates, nor westerns.

Pirates weren't big in West Tennessee when I was a child.
There was no sea, no sailing ships, no privateers.
I had no interest in pirates.

Of course, that changed after I read Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island.

Treasure Island is the adventure tale of the boy Jim Hawkins.
And this is what made, and continues to make the story so appealing: Jim Hawkins is a boy like any boy, save the incredible adventure. But all boys, of all ages, wish they could have the adventure of young Jim Hawkins.

Treasure Island has it all: Billy Bones, Captain Flint, Blind Pew, Squire Trelawney, the Black Spot, Ben Gunn, maps, and buried treasure.

What's not to appeal to the boy in all of us!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Comics: I Owe It All To Kid Colt

Of my childhood interests and pastimes, I could number among them neither comics, pirates, nor westerns.

As a child, I might have, upon occasion, picked up the odd Richie Rich, or Kid Colt, or, maybe, Captain America. But more often than not, I simply read without buying, having no great or abiding interest in the medium.
Comic books played no role in my childhood.
It wasn't until after college that I made a serious attempt to acquaint my myself with the world of comic books.
I chose Batman, The Phantom, and El Diablo.
None of the above titles were the typical super heroes. These I considered more based in reality, more plausible. More down to earth.
And though I enjoyed these for awhile, I never completely cottoned to the world of comics.
Gradually, my interest waned, and it would be years before I picked up another comic book.

Then, one day, for no reason that I can now remember, I decided to see if I could get my hands on some old Marvel cowboy Kid Colt comic books
I could. And did.

And though I still haven't developed an interest in the super hero genre, my interest in comic books has not waned this time.