Thursday, August 1, 2013

Seige at the Hidey-Ho Saloon comic & record set; Nix Western #2

(www.nixcomics.comIssue 1 is a very interesting package made more interesting by the mystery of why the publisher would think this western comic deserved the multimedia deluxe treatment. On the one hand, Nix has carved out a niche (a "nixche?") doing rock n roll horror comics, two semi-marketable genres that they put together as good as anyone -- the horse opera comix market has been cold since the Eisenhower administration! Also, while Nix has had some very intriguing visual craftsmen in their horror anthology, Bob Ray Starker does not come to mind as the top of their heap. Not to say this looks bad. The linework is kind of crude and unsophisticated, but it is energetic, and it references scratchboard art in an intriguing way. The story doesn't share those shortcomings, as it slyly takes cowboy cliches to a mundanely tragic conclusion (particularly the one about the gunslinger keeping a promise to a loved one). Making the package really special is a vinyl 45 soundtrack by Starker that mixes spaghetti western and detective jazz (sadly no beeps telling you when to turn the page). And taking it over the top is a gold sherrif badge 45 adaptor! Issue two has less bells and whistles (or records and adaptors to be more accurate) but is way better comic, a prequel that tells of the hard, morally ambiguous, and genre clich√© challenging lives of the two gunfighters from issue 1. The art is better, the stories are more dramatic, and there’s an infinite percent more abortion references and f-words than in the entire run of Two-Gun Kid.

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