With so many big names and big events plastered across the shelves of your LCS, sometimes great comics get left behind – buried in longboxes until someone comes along to find these Hidden Gems.
Art, Colors, and Letters by: Chris Eliopoulos
Written by: Nate Cosby
Published by: Archaia Entertainment
“Deadwood for kids” Nate Cosby describing Cow Boy at C2E2
A boy, his horse, and his stick horse looking to collect bounties. That describes Boyd Linney a ten year old bounty hunter who is out to get his outlaw family. Writer Nate Cosby and artist Chris Eliopoulos let us ride along with Boyd as he travels from town to town looking for family members who need to be brought to justice. Originally released as a web comic Cow Boy is now a striking hardcover that is being put out by Archaia.
At first glance of the art some readers may think this all-ages book is just a book for kids. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Eliopoulos’ draws Boyd with a cowboy hat that looks like it’s three times too big and with a large head that helps to give him the innocent appeal you would find in a 10 year old. At the same time when Boyd means business you can see it presented in his eyes and his stance. Eliopoulos does a great job of illustrating the dusty and tattered western environment that sets the mood for the book.
Nate Cosby weaves a great story where Boyd Linney has developed a morale code that is so strong that not even his family gets a pass. Cosby does an exemplary job of reminding us that while Boyd Linney is a bounty hunter he is also just ten years old. Boyd is a bit of scrapper as he isn’t one to shy away from confrontation. He uses the fact that his opponents underestimate him to his advantage. Since Boyd is hunting his outlaw family members that leaves him alone most of the time. It is here that Nate delves deeper into the emotions of the character and at times breaks your heart.
The hardcover is made to look like an old leather bound book with some wear. Archaia does a superb job of having the cover designs on their hardcovers fit the tone of the book. Included in between each chapter are a series of western inspired stories. Each story is done by different creators. Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Mitch Gerads, Roger Langridge, Mike Maihack, and Colleen Coover all contribute and tell enjoyable stories that fit perfectly in the book.
Simply put, this book is fantastic. It takes on a ride that has humor, excitement, and plenty of emotion. There are points in the story where you marvel at how independent and tough he is, then you remember he is ten and alone. It is that shift of thought and sentiment that keep reading and wanting more. The end of the book has a poignant climax that will have you flipping the pages in hopes that there is more there.