Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rio-Reprise! This Time In Context

When I started this blog a few weeks ago, I debuted with Eclipse Monthly #5- RIO in "Satan's Doorstep". At the time, it was the only RIO comic I owned. I tracked down Issues 1 and 2 and 9 and 10, all of which had other installments of RIO in them. Turns out Eclipse Monthly only ran 10 issues and only five of them had RIO in them and I own all five. So, since I ran parts one and two Monday and Tuesday, I decided I would re-present part three today in its proper place. And then, Thursday and Friday... well, you get the idea. So here's RIO in "Satan's Doorstep"...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rio: The Hide Butchers, Part II

Bet y'all thought I was just gonna post part one of this story and leave ya hangin'. Nossir!

Monday, June 28, 2010

RIO Begins

In Eclipse Monthly #1, we get our first look at Doug Wildey's RIO. 1983 was pretty far from the heyday of the Western, comic book or otherwise, and this fantastic strip pretty much slipped under the radar.

The level of character and realism Wildey conveys in his simple, no-frills story is truly amazing. Wildey's masterful use of half-tones lends a sense of depth and natural light that makes every scene absolutely convincing. You believe you are outside in the Wyoming winter or in a smoky saloon or in a small sod cabin. The poses are naturalistic when the characters are conversing and dynamic when action breaks out. But don;t take my word for it. Enjoy part one of "The Hide Butchers".

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Red Dead Redemption- A Fistful of Awesome!

For Father's Day my sons got me (With more than a little help from my loving Wife) Red Dead Redemption (from Rockstar Games) for the Xbox 360. I cannot stress enough how kickass this game is!

Unlike its also kickass predecessor, Red Dead Revolver, Redemption has the option of roaming all over its Spaghetti Western landscape, looking for your own fun or trouble.

You can:

catch and break a wild horse
hunt game, big and small
play poker
cheat at poker
be attacked by wolves, coyotes and a cougar
get into one-on one gunfights
hunt for treasure
steal anything that isn't nailed down
hunt wanted criminals for bounty
stop a stage coach robbery

And that's just in Single Player mode. In multiplayer, you can form a posse and take on a whole town.

If you play video games and have a platform that supports this game, I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Marvel Tries To Revive the Western... With a Side of Spaghetti

During the 1970's, DC had unleashed a string of Western comics that drew from the spirit of the Italian western films. Although they also reprinted earlier stories of heroes like Pow-Wow Smith and Johnny Thunder, they had introduced more contemporary charcters like Jonah Hex, Scalphunter and Bat Lash.

Marvel, on the other hand, had produced a nearly endless string of reprints of Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid and Outlaw Kid. Their new Western comics were usually a new story featuring one of their old, Atlas heroes backed up by reprints of their old, Atlas heroes. They introduced Red Wolf, but his adventures were formulaic, and very similar to Atlas' Apache Kid.

In 1980, Marvel tried to introduce a new style of Western hero. Well, new to Marvel. Caleb Hammer has the look and feel of an Italian Western. Caleb bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain high plains Drifter. And, if it reminds you a little bit of a DC Western from 10 years before, it may be because it was inked by Tony DeZuniga, the original artist on DC's Jonah Hex.

From 1980's Marvel Premiere #54, we have "The Coming of Caleb Hammer" by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Gene Day and inked by Tony DeZuniga.

And as a bonus, this comic had two Western-themed ads:

Man, Dingos look like some killer boots!

I mean, alleged killer boots. I have to confess, I had a pair of these in second grade.