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True Death of Billy the Kid

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The first true and accurate graphic novel telling the story of the death of the wild west's outlaw, Billy the Kid.
Published 2015
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  88 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Copkiller. American Robin Hood. World-famous outlaw. Western legend. This is the story of William H. Bonney aka Billy the Kid, infamous for the murders of several lawmen and shot dead by federal agents in 1881 aged just 21 years old.

I adore Rick Geary’s true crime comics and I heartily recommend his Treasury of Victorian/20th Century Murder series to anyone who enjoys the genre. That said, The True Death of the Billy the Kid is one of the rare entries that I didn’t totally love – it’s still dec
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2018
This feels like a fleshed out version of a story that would have appeared in one of those Big Book of series that Paradox Press published in the 90's. Geary gives you all of the scant facts (and alternate theories) of Billy the Kid's life and death. Geary has a whole series of these books and I look forward into delving into more of them.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

My least favorite of all Geary's historical works. Every one of his crime series has been densely packed with background information, alternate theories of events, and good storytelling. Very little of that is present here, with most story beats dealt with in a panel or two. Part of that is because the book is only 56 pages (The others were 80). I can't tell if there's wasn't enough story to fill 80 pages or if Geary had a 56 page limit and had to cut way back to make page count. Either
Back when the National Lampoon had the best comic stories, I first saw Rick Geary’s stuff. I sought him out, the way I sought out all the other great cartoonists. It’s great to see that he is still drawing, and telling stories. Apparently this book is part of a series of historical graphic novels that he has done.

The only problem, of course, is that there isn’t a whole lot of documentation on Billy the Kid, so at times Rick has had to speculate, but he points out that is what he is doing, and sh
Wayne McCoy
'The True Death of Billy the Kid' with story and art by Rick Geary is a graphic novel about the famous outlaw and how he died.

The book begins with Billy the Kid in jail awaiting sentencing, then does a flashback to his life up to this point. Henry McCarty, aka Billy the Kid, was born in New York. He lived with his mother and brother. When he was 16, his mother died, and he and his brother were abandoned by his stepfather. Shortly after this, he started a life of crime. When he was finally caught
Derek Royal
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yet another wonderful historical account from the pen of Rick Geary. I wish I had discovered this when it was Kickstarted a few years ago, but this new NBM edition is well done. The focus of this book is as the title suggests, the death (as best can be known) of Billy the Kid, not the life of the legendary figure. As expected, Rick Geary handles this account adeptly and with his usual artist punch. We had considered inviting Rick to come back on The Comics Alternative to talk about this new book ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphics
I adore Rick Geary's style.
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Rick Geary's historical stories, and this was no exception. Look for my review on the website No Flying, No Tights.
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Felt much shorter and lacked the intrigue of other Geary works. I couldn’t get a firm understanding of why everyone in Fort Sumner liked him. But was still a fun way to learn about BtK.
Another historical figure that I knew nothing about! Fascinating bit of American history and true crime. You can see why such a mysterious figure transformed into a myth of the wild west.
Without fail, I have loved Every. Single. One. of Geary's historical comics. His research is so thorough, his art and maps so detailed...I'm salivating just thinking of it now. I would learn so much more about history if Rick Geary adapted ALL of it. Every high school should own every one of his books. This is a quick read because there isn't a whole lot of info out there about Billy the Kid, but he paints the famous outlaw in an objectively sympathetic light and reveals a lot about the culture ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
An entertaining read, but the black and white illustrations could have been a bit more fleshed out. Was this even a true account of what happened to William H. Bonney, aka "Billy the Kid"? :since historical records were not quite that accurate back then. Depressing read though, to say the least, since he was already a murderer a few times over at the age of 21.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
This was a short and unsatisfying entry in Rick Geary's true crime series. Because it was about a person versus a very specific crime it didn't have the right build up or a satisfying conclusion. The whole thing felt rushed and I didn't really like the larger reproduction size.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What a neat read. Great artwork and a lot of interesting facts. Just wished it was in color… that’s just a personal preference though!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book, which I voluntarily chose to review.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you goodreads for sending me a copy of this graphic novel. A short illustrated story about the life and death of Billy the Kid. Geary paints the outlaw in a sympathetic light and shows us a little bit about the people and society during that time.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Very good graphic about the legend of Billy the Kid. The background story was light on information, but the detail of his death was good. I liked the illustrations. Good YA nonfiction, but I would pass it to a younger person who was interested in that part of history.
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
While this one didn't grab me like some of Geary's other historical books, it was an interesting history lesson.
One of Geary's most beautifully illustrated works.
Nick Nguyen
3.5 stars

Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
The last days of Billy the Kid in graphic novel format. Nicely done!
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ehs
A great writing / illustration job: Reader is left knowing a lot and wondering more about the true story of who Billy the Kid was.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always Mr Geary provides a thoroughly researched comic that truly sets the bar for historical comics.
Mark Dunn
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Just made me want to know more. Was Billy ever a hired gun in the Lincoln county war?
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
I wish that there were more factual details on the life of Billy the Kid, but this is the most we will get. I like how Geary really does his research and refrains from filling in the gaps. Had history been a little more clear, this short book would have been perfect. One other thing I think is missing, and it's unfair for me to expect it to be here: but why was Billy the Kid so famous? Yes, he killed a few people and got lucky several times. But any kind of social or historical explanation would ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The latest of Geary's exceptional history books. This one has a fresh tone and sense of excitement that we don't usually see in his "Murder" books. I don't think you'll come out of this with any deeper understanding of the person known as "Billy the Kid" -- and how could you, he'll always remain an enigma -- but you'll enjoy the violent ride of what we know about his final days.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, history
I did a report on Billy the Kid in high school. This story checks out.
J.D. DeHart
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The True Death of Billy the Kid is proof that Papercutz is doing great work for the graphic novel. This is book is engagingly illustrated and historically documented. Major kudos to the author for even including references at the end.
This was a fun, quick read, and informative as well. I would have loved this series when I was a kid. The balance of caption to image is perfect, and the depiction of the title character is spot-on. The only disappointment was that it wasn't in color.
Sharon Tyler
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The True Death of Billy the Kid is part of a series of historical graphic novels by Rick Geary. The cover proclaims the book to be the first true and accurate graphic novel telling the story of the death of the wild west's outlaw, Billy the Kid. One of the great folk legends of the Wild West, William H. Bonney went from cowboy and rancher's gunslinger to a pure outlaw, forever dodging justice in New Mexico before it was even a state. On the one hand, he was charming, fun-loving, often present at ...more
Note: I received a digital review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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RICK GEARY was born in 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Wichita,
Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where his first cartoons were published in the University Daily Kansan. He worked as staff artist for two weekly papers in Wichita before moving to San Diego in 1975.

He began work in comics in 1977 and was for thirteen years a contributor to the Funny Pages of