Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Iron West

Finally got around to reading Doug TenNapel's original GN Iron West a few nights ago (and again last night) and i gotta say i had a great time with it. This book is at the same time humerous, charmingly odd, action-packed, and classic spaghetti western.

TenNapel's art is almost as fun to look at as his outlandish story is to read and i'm seriously impressed that he was able to include an army of robot cowboys (controlled by a mysterious UFO), a charming wrinkled old Indian shaman, Sasquatch, the Lochness Monster, and a giant steam engine locomotive transformer into a cohesive, fun story that isn't... well... stupid.

The Iron West plot is at the same time simple and complex; we've got the story of an old west (1860's?) outlaw and unlikely hero named "Stroke" who, in and attempt to dodge a rabid bounty hunter, stumbles across a gang of robot cowboys (yeah) hijacking a runaway locomotive. Stroke is plugged in the gut during the broo-ha-ha (sp?) and subsequently knocked unconscious when he jumps from the train to escape. Stroke awakens some time later, in the company of a wrinkled old Indian Shaman and his would-be muscle (who just happens to be a/the Sasquatch). The Shaman magically heals Stroke's wounds and tells him the story of the robot cowboys and their plot to take over the nearby town (and ultimately the world??)...

I won't get much further into this because i'm going to recommend that you read the book (hey it's less than $10 at Amazon for a nice thick trade), especially if you like westerns OR sci-fi. Hell, if you like BOTH westerns AND sci-fi i'll even go so far as to call this a must read. The cast of characters is just about as memorable as any i've read in a long, long time (from the unwitting hero Stroke, who's only real concern is rescuing his "lady of the evening" love interest, to the toothless Indian Shaman and his Sasquatch sidekick, a no-necked bounty hunter named Strauss, and a/the Lochness Monster), the story fun, and the art fantastic sketch B&W.

I had a VERY good time w/ this book (in the end it's best summed up as a "fun" read) and will most certainly be reading it again before i shelve it. A+.


06 August, 2006 10:12, Blogger zilla said...

PS - I had "Earthboy Jacobus" on my wish list a while ago but the entry got stale enough that i took it off... after reading Iron West though, i'm putting it back :) Anyone read EJ that can recommend??

06 August, 2006 15:24, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...


I'd never heard of TenNapel before Iron West, but he's got a new fan now and I'll be checking out all of his work. EJ and Gear seem to get the most love.

06 August, 2006 20:36, Blogger Kross said...

I just read Iron West the other night as well. Very enjoyable, read like a good cartoon or, in some scenes, like a good web comic.

TenNapel's most famous work is probably the video game Earthworm Jim. As for comics, the only other work of his that I"ve read at all is some of Creature Tech. That was another fun sci-fi romp that I never got around to buying/finishing.

06 August, 2006 20:46, Blogger zilla said...

Kross - You're exactly right partner... Iron West plays out a LOT like a good cartoon (i actually thought that several times when reading it). The book isn't great the way TWD or Hellboy or LOEG is great, it's just a lot of fun (and that's refreshing sometimes!).

PS i had no idea this was the guy who did Earthworm Jim... I never played that game but you'd have to have been under a rock not to have heard about it.


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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.

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