Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dark Tower Book 1: The Gunslinger

Once i heard about the forthcoming Dark Tower comics (somehow loosely involving King himself), i figured i'd step off the ledge and do something i've been meaning to do for years now - read the books.

I picked up Dark Tower Book 1, The Gunslinger, a few weeks ago but just got around to cracking it open the other night (i'd previously been in the middle of a long stretch of reading book after book in George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series which is friggin' phenomenal) and ultimately powered through it in just a couple of sittings. What did i think you ask?

For starters, my expectations for Gunslinger turned out to be way off target. For some reason i had it in my mind that it was a horror book (stephen king) and/or a western (gunslinger). Turns out it's pretty much neither (even though there are spatterings of both). It's much more fantasy than anything else - which, to be honest was a pleasant surprise...

We've got the round-about story of Roland the "gunslinger" (much like the gunslingers of the old west but... not) on a mission to track down the merciless body-snatched sorcerer, the "man in black" (coincidentally and somewhat predictably a malicious figure from his past), set in a post apocolyptic world based on our own (?). Wow that was a long sentence.

This first book (of 7) deals primarily w/ introductions, background (some pretty cool stuff here), and a few of Rolands misadventures along the way, including a town gone brainwashed, his unlikely friendship with a scar-faced bar wench and a myserious 10 year old(ish) boy, and several demon encounters for good measure. Not bad.

Ok so i can totally see WHY this will make a damn good comic. There are some pretty cool painted art pages sprinkled throughout this text-only book that really help push the images King wants us to have... and probably lay the groundworks for some of the art we will see in the comic mini in '07. Something about the painted pages in this book really reminds me of the awesomely painted covers from "Preacher".

Anyways - this first book in the series was a really quick read for me. i pretty much couldn't put it down and can't hardly wait for Book 2 (xmas me hopes?). I have to agree with some of what King said in his forward - the Gunslinger IS a bit scattered and hard to follow at times (and opens more doors than it closes) - but you def walk away from it with all the major points digested.

Great read (and i hear it only gets better). B+.


19 December, 2005 10:40, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

I'm glad to see you liked the book. You the weird thing about the Dark Tower is that as you go through it makes references to and ties in with other books King wrote (I believe he's said that his books have been some part of this story, had elements of it).

I would say to get an idea of how Roland's world is related to ours, read The Talisman, a book he wrote with Peter Straub. It involves alternate worlds. I don't think it's the same, but it gives a good explanation for how the worlds are connected.

19 December, 2005 18:06, Blogger Ryan X said...

Glad you are starting your trek to the Dark Tower...it only gets better from here. I am halfway through #4 and am totally immersed in Roland's world. I have been listening to the audiobooks since I finished #2 just so I can use my ridiculous commute to get something done. I now crave my commute so I can get back to Mid-World. Stay with it, it is very very complex and fun as hell. I look forward to future updates.


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel