Thursday, 4 November 2010

Review - West: Justice HC


This nice little hardcover collects West issues 1-5, written and lettered by Andrew Cheverton and drawn by Tim Keable. I had never heard of these comics until a few weeks ago and only bought this book after reading Paul’s review of the latest West comic – West: Distance #2 – but I’m really glad I did.

The five tales collected here follow Jerusalem West – lawman, soldier, bounty hunter, killer – as he travels the American west, ultimately seeking to avenge the murder of his wife. These are mostly standard western tales – although one is a ghost story and another features werewolves – but they are very well written and well researched (that research may have just involved watching a lot of Sergio Leone films but I suspect there was more to it than that). These comics are at least as well written as the current (rather good) Jonah Hex series and deserve more attention.

The art is quite good, too. The page and panel designs are superb, as are most of the series’ covers and promo illustrations reprinted inside, and Keable doesn’t shy away from drawing anything.

For a self-published book, the production values here are extremely high. As well as the series’ covers and promo art, we also get to see the evolution of a few pages from script to finished art in a ‘script-to-page’ section, all of which combines with the actual stories to make this a very attractive package that I will be proud to keep on my bookshelves.

'West: Justice' is available from the Angry Candy website for £10.00, which is what I paid.

5 comments:

  1. The server is down over at Angry Candy so I was wondering whether you could tell me what size this collection is. The individual issues I've picked up are A5 which while it serves the purpose, but a bit of a shame as it makes things a little cramped on an otherwise fine comic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Colin. I'll answer for Rob only because I got here first. The collection is HB and A5 size. The production though is very, very good.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is about A5 sized as well. I haven't seen the original comics, but they have apparently been re-lettered and have had greytones added for this book, which may make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rob's right. I forgot to mention that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the review, Rob - I'm glad you liked the book.

    Colin - sorry that you were unable to get onto the website; we're hosted by Tumblr, and sometimes they're inundated by teenage girls posting pictures of some twerp from Twilight. ;o)

    The Justice book is - as Paul and Rob say - A5, exactly the same as the original comics. However, apart from the improved lettering and all-new grey-tones, each issue has also been rewritten to some extent. I was learning as I went on these comics, so I took the opportunity with the book to trim a lot of dialogue, sharpen it up, and make it more of a cohesive whole. Also, not only is there less dialogue, I discovered the use of dialogue captions while relettering the book, so much of the dialogue is now spread over more panels - cramped balloons was one of my bugbears, and I think this book edition addresses that.

    Paul - thanks for jumping in. You are a top advocate.

    ReplyDelete