Last year’s hardcover collection of writer Andrew Cheverton and artist Tim Keable’s ‘West’ comics was one of my favourite books of the year, so I ordered a copy of this new West comic as soon as it came out - no rationing - and I wasn’t disappointed. Unlike previous issues, this contains art by various artists, including both Cheverton and Keable. Cheverton provides the Simon Gane-like art for the framing strip, in which ‘fabled gunman’ Jerusalem West’s great grandson recalls some of his great grandfather’s adventures, which may or may not be true, while the adventures themselves are illustrated by Tim Keable, Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Jenika Ioffreda, Paul Rainey, and Emma Price.
I was particularly excited to see Paul ‘There’s No Time Like The Present’ Rainey drawing a (funny) Western strip but all of the artists here – most of whom I was unfamiliar with – do a great job. I was very impressed by the creepy, Guy Davis-like art of Warwick Johnson Cadwell, and Jenika Ioffreda’s manga-influenced art was very professional looking. I must admit, though, that it didn’t seem like West until I arrived at the story illustrated by Tim Keable, who also provided a very nice cover for this issue.
The stories were all good – Badwater Lake and Bad Dollars, my favourite stories, were both more light-hearted than usual, Midsummer Ball was touching, and Fort Eyrie was touching and, err, eerie – and I can’t wait for the next West comic, ‘Confederate Dead’
Stray Bullets: A West Anthology is available for £3.50, including postage, from Angry Candy.