On Reading Graphic Novels discussion

Western Art and Graphic Novels

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message 1: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Schultz (CalebBen) | 2 comments Hi all. I am completely new to Graphic Novels. Ever since I saw the movie 300, I have been curios and excited by their beautiful and contrasty art style. I am also a lover of Western / Cowboy Art and culture. This led me to think there might be a small niche in the graphic novel world for Westerns. The western landscape and culture would be very colorful subject for a graphic novelist.

I have perused the internet a little bit to find some Western Graphic Novels and have found a couple. So far, I have seen Loveless, Jonah Hex and others published by DC Comics. Does anybody know if westerns have a very big following in the graphic novel world or have some insight into where I could begin? Also, can anyone provide some titles that might be worth checking out?

Thanks for any help and thoughts you might have.

message 2: by Maré (new)

Maré Odomo (mareodomo) I've always wanted to read Blueberry.

Cowboy Bebop is a great space western but that's anime. And I think that that came before the manga... In any case, you'd probably want to watch the anime. I guess Trigun is another space western anime... but I haven't watched enough of it to recommend it.

I don't really know of any contemporary Western comics. I kind of associate the genre with pulp comics.

All I can think of is Daisy Kutter, which is kind of an indie title. And it's a science fiction western. There are robots.

message 3: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Dec 10, 2008 03:04AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa Caleb, I haven't read Jonah Hex for ages...time to dig around in the coffer of comics I think.
Preacher Vol. 1: Gone To Texas is a modern cowboy tale (kind of...with a drunk vampire and odd conspiracey stuff...and angels)...the Saint Of Killers is Josey Wales turned up to 11 and sent to Hell. The whole series is fairly over the top, I loved it though.
As to more serious Western books none spring to mind at the minute.

message 4: by Giacomo (new)

Giacomo (giacomol) If you can read Italian or another European language, you should really check out "Tex" -- it's an ongoing series of self-contained episodes started in 1948 and still ongoing (and extremely popular), with the main character being ranger Tex Willer. It spawned several graphic-novel-like offshoots, including giant-sized episodes drawn by masters like Joe Kubert, Jordi Bernet and Roberto "Magnus" Raviola -- these are called "Speciale Tex" or "Texone". It's translated in several European languages, but unfortunately not in English last time I checked.

There are dozens of other western-oriented Italian comics, somehow inspired by Tex's popularity. The best one is probably "Ken Parker", published in the late 70s, 80s and early 90s. Very modern in its storytelling (complex character development, political and social subjects, extremely realistic), it's also made up of self-contained episodes, often taking places several months or years after the previous one.

You can pick up any issue of these without having to know anything about the characters' background -- Italian "series" are written for occasional readers, nothing to do with never-ending American-style "soaps" like X-Men and Spider-Man, where you are lost if you miss an episode.

Unfortunately, I don't know if they have English editions, which is a shame really.

It might be easier to find an English translation of Jean (Moebius) Giraud's "Blueberry", a French series of volumes. The art is fantastic, the story slightly less so.

message 5: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (jackthorn) | 24 comments Caleb wrote: "...Can anyone provide some [Western:] titles that might be worth checking out?"

I'm not all that into Westerns specifically, but the first things that come to mind are that recent set of graphic novels based on Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, and the "Preacher" series by Garth Ennis. Neither are true Westerns, but of the two, the Dark Tower stuff is closer.

message 6: by Sadie (new)

Sadie (librarianwombat) | 6 comments You may try Dead West by Rick Spears. There's also Iron West by Doug Tenapel, it's kind of a robot spoof on westerns. I read one a long time ago and I want to say it was something like, Long Haul?

If you are want to check out a more modern Western, Jason Aaron's Scalped is about corruption on a reservation.

message 7: by Jack (new)

Jack (kcorstel) | 28 comments There's also Wasteland Book 1 Cities In Dust that's sort of a post-apocalyptic Western. It's very high on the weirdness scale, so I'm not sure if it's what you're looking for, Caleb.

It's funny, it seems like a lot of writers are interested in using Western tropes in other kinds of (mostly science-fiction) stories, but I can't think of any hard-Western comics out there right now. As with all important questions, you should probably consult your local comic book store...

message 8: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Schultz (CalebBen) | 2 comments Thank you all for your help. This is a great starting point. If anyone else has some revelations, please feel free to share as well. Great knowledge!

message 9: by le bricoleur (new)

le bricoleur Boyle (le_bricoleur) | 8 comments Western comics used to be very popular during the 1950s. You should see if you can find a reissued anthology of western comics put out by EC (Entertaining Comics). EC has recently anthologized their horror, crime and noir comics from that era.

message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Hertz | 1 comments No one mentioned "Lucky Luke," which is a series of comics (and books) about the Old West. Some are quite good.

Not to blow my own horn too much, I've written and published a graphic (really--illustrated) novel about the Old West called "Spaghetti Western." It's really a spoof as much as anything, but it mixes the Old West with Dante's inferno, the Chicago mob, and black magic. Can be found at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail....

message 11: by Jordie (new)

Jordie Bellaire | 2 comments There's a new book as well that's very Western meets B.P.R.D meets Army of Darkness called Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn. The Sixth Gun: Book 1 -Cold Dead Fingers

Wow. Although I realized this discussion is ANCIENT. I'm leaving this here anyways.

message 12: by Ben (new)

Ben Scott | 3 comments preacher is a must read as someone said above heres a few more

miracle man
swamp thing
dark knight
silver surfer from nineties
buddha (manga)

try looking for the following artists and writers
alan moore
steve ditko
todd macfarlane
art spiegelman
Garth Ennis
robert crumb
will eisner
neil gaiman
Osamu Tezuka

message 13: by Ben (new)

Ben Scott | 3 comments sorry didnt realise westerns


this came up on a search

marshall law was almost a western and very funny

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