Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Outlaw Territory Volume 2

Edited by Michael Woods

Reading through this anthology of western comics, I started to wonder if such a thing could have ever existed were it not for the HBO show Deadwood, which treated cursing as Shakespearean oration, but also made it okay to portray the Old West in terms of gender, race and class.

Anyway, as with any anthology of this size (almost 250 pages), there is a lot of variety when it comes to quality in this book.  Some of the better pieces belonged to Rich Johnston and Tom Fowler, who started the book off on an amusing note; Michael Woods and Rafael Albuquerque; Jeremy Barlow and Dustin Weaver (whose art is incredible, and very European); A. Freeman, M. Bernardin, and D. Lafrance; John Whalen and Werther Dell'Edera; Josh Wagner and Jose Jaro (whose art I though belonged to Skullkicker's Edwin Huang at first, it's so similar); Robert Kirkman and Shaun O'Neil; Joshua Hale Fialkov and Jeff Lemire (that's an interesting creative team); Christian Beranek and Vivian Lee (exploring the contributions of Chinese workers to the railroads); Francesco Francavilla (probably the prettiest story in this book); Moritat (with what I assume is a tribute to Moebius's Lt. Blueberry comics, as the protagonist's name is J. Giraud); and Joshua Dysart and Paul Azaceta.

One reason why I enjoy these types of books is because they invariably expose me to an artist whose work I've never seen before.  There are a few people I'd like to see more from, including Rick Lacy, Jorge Coelho, Connor Willumsen (who has a bit of a Paul Pope thing going on), and Diego Tripoli.

In all, this is a successful anthology.  

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