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Bloody Chester

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  347 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
A deliciously gruesome horror tale set in the old west.

This isn't John Wayne's heroic old west.

This is the real deal: a filthy, disease-ridden frontier populated by losers, lunatics, and murderers. And when you're a skinny teenager with no family and a name like Chester Kates, your options are limited. It's stand up and fight or roll over and die, so Chester, aka "Lady Ka
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by First Second (first published April 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Disappointing, on some levels. The art is decent enough, though some scenes lacked the clarity that more detail would have provided. The story is missing a lot of background. There are lots of things that are hinted at but never developed or explained. I'm not sure if Petty wanted to keep Chester a mysterious figure, but he isn't interesting enough for that to work. Instead of making him a shadowy enigma, he just looks underdeveloped. The ending is strong, but it's very abrupt and it feels unfin ...more
Seth T.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Bloody Chester by J.T. Petty and Hilary Florido

Late last year I decided, nearly out of the blue, that I had a remarkable lack of westerns in my collection and that I might take special pains to remedy that situation. It's not so much that I'm fond of westerns. I'm not overly fond of genre fiction. Though I'll enjoy the occasional sci-fi, superhero, or fantasy tale if it lopes across my path, I don't generally set out to pick up the latest detective thriller, survival horror, or baseball romance. Once upon a time, perhaps, but not so much the
Jessica at Book Sake
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
ARC reviewed by Chris for Book Sake.
I was a little confused by this book. The whole time I was reading it I was waiting for something horrific or spooky to happen, but it never really does. With the exception of a few moments it all feels pretty mundane.

Since I was looking forward to something supernatural, it was a bit of a let down. Taken at face value, it’s a decent western. It has that trademark slow build and a cast of screwy characters all haunted by their past.

The art, while good, felt a
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ls-583
Jamie Poorman

APA Citation: Petty, J. (2012). Bloody Chester. New York: First Second.

Genre: Western

Format: Print (Softcover, 160 pages; graphic novel)

Awards: ---------

Selection Process: Booklist review, YALSA list of ‘Great Graphic Novels, 2013’

Reader’s beware - this is definitely not a book to judge by it’s cover. Appearing to be a western story, this work is so much more - adventure, horror, romance, and historical fiction all rolled into one short, very visually stimulating work.

Chester Kat
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Bloody Chester is a graphic novel set in the old west.Chester Kates is a skinny young cowboy with a name just ripe for bullying and very little hope. Given his limited options, when he is offered a job to ride into a town destroyed by a strange plague and burn it down, he jumps at it. Unfortunately, the town isn't quite as deserted as it's supposed to be and rounding up the survivors won't be easy.

Not surprising given the title, Bloody Chester is very violent and very bloody. It is also a lot of
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Strange personal note: If that drunk artist I semi-dated in college lived in the old west, he'd be Chester.

I liked how the story didn't give us the usual ending. It chose to keep its own mysteries and ambiguities. Chester stayed true to his own law. I have a feeling that although this is a quick read, and somewhat confusing, the mind will keep going back to it.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng-471
This book was very interesting an entirely different from anything that I have ever read in the past. The story follows a boy that comes off as very lost in the world as he doesn't seem to have a set direction. The beginning of this was both interesting and confusing as it shows how the main character got the nicknames "Bloody Chester" and "Lady Kate" which by name alone, scares anyone that comes into contact with him. He doesn't have a family or place to stay which is what seems to evoke him to ...more
Sam Larsen
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Petty, J.T., Florido, Hilary. Bloody Chester. First Second. 2012. 160 pages.
Hilarious, colorful, horror. These are all words that could describe the landscape of Petty and Florido’s creation of Bloody Chester. Teenage main character Chester Cates is contracted by a sinister man from the railroad company to clear a town in order for building to continue, but he comes upon a ghost town of evil proportions. A book that plays on the traditional western, without getting too deep or complex, the beaut
Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
After finding himself in jail, Chester Kates is given a ticket to freedom - provided he completes the job of burning the town of Whale to the ground first. When Chester arrives in Whale it is apparent that something sinister has happened to the inhabitants.

This was an interesting little read with some unexpected twists. Not being a huge fan of Westerns generally, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the setting. ThEre is a fair bit of violence and casual racism (that is rela
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
Originally Reviewed by Diayll(me):Mother/Gamer/Writer
Parent Rating: 1 out of 5 Controllers
Regular Rating: 2 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: NetGalley

This review is going to be atypical from any review I have previously written. I am going to do 2 quick rundown reviews of this book because it definitely sparked something in me I can’t release until everyone hears it. One review will be from a parent’s perspective and the other as an adult reader. I hope this helps someone make an informed deci
Tim Lewis
Read the review and others like it on my blog:
Tim's Book Reviews

Premise: Chester Kates is a scrawny loner with no family in a town full of losers. When he is given the job of burning down the ghost town of Whale to make way for the railroad, he accepts it. The only problem is that there are still a few people living there.

A mysterious illness has taken over Whale, and only three people remain alive: the priest and his son, and Caroline. All Chester has to do to complete his mission is to get the
Christa  Seeley
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: genre-western
This review originally posted at More Than Just Magic

This is my first First Second graphic novel! I love finding new, smaller graphic novel publishers. It adds some great diversity to the field and their amazing collection has me adding a pile of great sounding books to my TBR. Seriously, if you haven’t heard of them yet, then check them out, they have great stuff for all ages and interests.

So now that I’ve said my piece about the publisher, let’s move onto the book itself, Bloody Chester. I sa
Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Bloody Chester is an atmospheric old Western graphic novel with a spooky set up and young anti-hero protagonist. The artwork is oddly cartoony, playing against the gritty and horror-filled story of a loser. This is not a story of redemption and the authors really buck cliches of the modern novel. I was reminded a lot of True Grit - no sappy ending, just the harsh realities of the American frontier.

Chester, nicknamed Bloo
Dani Shuping
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
ARC provided by NetGalley

Do you like westerns and cowboys and indians? I mean the John Wayne version of the old west? Well then this story...isn’t that. This story is different (and better). It’s the story of outlaws, mining, death, and love, but more than that it’s the story of Bloody Chester--an outlaw assigned to do a horrible job for money. he has to go and burn down a town so that the train can buy the place and build through it, but the town isn’t empty. And there’s a curse that surrounds
Jennifer Haight
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually attracted to stories set in the old west and I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this title as much as I did. From page 11 I knew that this was not your typical graphic novel aimed at older teens; "Only been here a month, but I've already seen you take more beating's than a whore's bed." The book opens with Chester being bludgeoned while defending himself after being teased about his nickname. During his imprisonment the sheriff offers him a job. He wants him to go to a town name ...more
To be fair, the book delivered exactly what it promised: a story about the lawless wild west with lots of violence and blood. And that's about all the book is.

The book starts abruptly, jarring the reader into Chester's world. He's at a bar, then he's beat up, then suddenly he's cleaned up after a night in prison and takes on the job of burning the town of Whale (which had been ravaged by "Indian plague") down. He gets out to Whale and low and behold, he finds a girl there who doesn't want to le
Dana Davis-avants
The western horror story told in graphic novel form by Petty sheds an interesting light on 19th century frontier life in Dakota Territory. Chester “Bloody” Kates is a drifter who is moving through a life of survival when he arrives in the tough town of Averill. He is given the opportunity to move away from his filthy past when he is hired by Mr. Shane Groghan to burn the neighboring town of Whale to make way for the Union Pacific Railroad. The job seems easy enough, but Chester finds the town st ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Set somewhere in the Old West, Bloody Chester follows the story of Chester Kates, a ragged teenage waif who’s always falling in and out of bar fights. After one particular scrape, a man from the railroad company plucks him from the gutter, gives him clothes, a gun, and a mission: burn the neighboring town of Whale to the ground to make way for the brand new rail-line. When he reaches the town in question, however, he finds plague victims littering the streets, and a dead man with a sign around h ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm so mad right now.






I mean---that's how you leave us hanging Petty & Florido---this is how Bloody Chester ends? Reminiscent of the Sopranos' series finale?

I go on a violent, bloody historical ride of gold and plagues to end up NOT AT ALL SATISFIED---and what's worse? I'm left with wanting more. Racial slurs and language aside---it was an engrossing macabre storyline right from the start. The characterization was executed well---and our sort of anti-hero was a complex mixture
Sara Thompson
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The end of this graphic novel left me feeling unfulfilled so it’s hard to write this review.
The story is of “Bloody” Chester who starts off as a scrawny loser locked in the jail of a wild west town. He’s offered a job – burn down plague afflicted Whale so the railroad can pass through the area. Not thinking much of it, Chester goes to Whale. There are 2 survivors and 1 man dying of the plague left. All he has to do is convince them to leave and burn the whole place down – not a problem especiall
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: western
I received this book as a First Reads give-away.

Chester wakes in a stable overlooking a small mountain settlement and is taunted into a no holds barred brawl after a breakfast of pancakes and whiskey at the saloon. The offender calls him "Lady Kate", a reviled nickname he picked up in an unfortunate incident with a lady of ill repute. Jailed, Chester Kates is offered the opportunity to work off his charges by burning down a neighboring mining town, Whales, supposedly stricken with a plague – cal
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: death-and-dying
"'I'm gonna burn this town to the ground.'

'Even the church?'

'If it's made of wood.'

'A painful death, but worth the salvation.'"

Chester Kates, cruelly nicknamed "Lady Kates," is a teenager in the Old West, along the developing path of the Union Pacific railroad. He is pulled from a life filled with fighting and scraping for food by a railroad officer, who commissions Chester to travel to Whale, the next town along the rail's expanding line, and burn it to the ground to clear way for the railroad.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
This graphic novel was exactly what it promised to be. And yet it still confused me. A horror-western story with a lot of violence and harsh language, this is not a comic book for your kids.

Right away we meet Chester Kates, AKA Bloody Chester and Lady Kate (they sort of explain the nicknames, but it seems like an after thought). He is the protagonist of the book, but I wouldn't call him the good guy. It opens with him getting beat up and thrown in jail. Then he gets hired by the railroad to burn
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bloody Chester was another library find that I honestly picked up because of the cover, and I'm so glad I did. Westerns are usually not a genre I'm ever interested in, but this one is much more than your typical Western plot. Chester Kate is hired to burn down an abandoned town that is supposedly cursed with a mysterious plague, but once he arrives and discovers that the town still has four inhabitants, the plot thickens.

This book doesn't have many totally positive reviews on Goodreads, which I
Educating Drew
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: western

Ghost towns don't always
have dead people haunting them.
The truth might be worse.

Lady Kate, also known as Chester, is the town goober. If there were bully books written back in these western times they would use Chester as the symbol of boy bullied. Sitting in a saloon guzzling beer, the next thing you know poor Chester is kambuzzled and thrown out. Rather than fight back, he just makes weak jokes. This is his life and this is what he accepts.

Until a prominent official in the little town offers
Nicola Mansfield
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: I always read anything new from this publisher that catches my eye!

This is a violent, brutal book and it starts off that way with a saloon fist fight. This is particularly hard to read/look at as the main character, Chester, is only a boy; no age is given but due to how he is drawn and the fact that he *just* needs to shave, though not everyday, he looks to be about 15 to this reader. He's scrawny and on the short side. This makes it hard to watch him being beaten by a man of
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I think that this book is okay because sometime the story don't make sense and I feel like the plot keep jumping to one place to another and it didn't cover everything. While reading this book, I was thinking about who or what cause the coyote waits.
Justin Liang
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bloody Chester by JT Petty and Hilary Florido is a graphic novel about the Old West. The Old West is described as a lawless cesspool populated by losers, lunatic, and murderers which the protagonist, Kate Chester aka Bloody Chester lives in. Bloody Chester lives a hard and difficult life, with poverty and loneliness, but when opportunity strikes him, he doesn’t hesitate to take it. When Mr. Croghan assigns Chester a job to burn down a town so that they can build a railroad, Chester takes it, con ...more
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-graphic-novel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Besides writing children's books, Petty is also a director and screenwriter for movies and video games. His film Soft for Digging was an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. He received a Game Developers Choice Award for his work on the bestselling video game Splinter Cell. JT lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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