Dead West

The team behind the critically praised Teenagers from Mars return with a zombie Western.

While the men of a Native American tribe are out hunting, a group of whites massacre their village to enforce their claim to the property. A young brave survives and years later takes his revenge on the town, Lazarus, built on the site. Through a ritual sacrifice, he raises the town’s dead, an unthinking mob of zombies that attack any living thing.

Dead West cover
Dead West
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The town’s inhabitants include the sheriff, the undertaker, and a pregnant lady of pleasure. Into town rides an amoral fat man being chased by a bounty hunter. Cinematic influences are throughout, from the character types to the staging to the use of expressions in closeup. Most immediately obvious is how much the hunter resembles Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti Western character, the Man With No Name, complete with poncho.

The scratchy black-and-white art is beautiful. G.’s unblinking willingness to portray the gruesome results in pictures that grip the reader in spite of the subject matter. Color would be too much. Instead, this is stark and high-contrast, just like the Western desert under a noon sun. It’s a similar approach to that of The Walking Dead: not cartoony, realistic in its details, but simplified to the essence. Battle scenes are chaotic, making them more fearsome.

Even those who aren’t fans of the genres blended here will find elements to appreciate, whether it’s the character interplay (as when the brave confronts his father about his quest) or the artist’s skillful use of shading. The combination of horror and gunplay is a natural one. The classic Western loner character blends seamlessly into the last man standing survivor of a zombie attack.

The publisher has a website.

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4 Responses to “Dead West”

  1. *Teenagers From Mars — Recommended » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] publisher has a website. The creators have also worked together on Dead West, a zombie Western; Filler, a noir graphic novel; and the backup story in Detective Comics #785-788. [...]

  2. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] According to the flyer, guests include Brian Wood (writer of Local and Demo) Ryan Kelly (artist of Local) Becky Cloonan (artist of Demo and American Virgin) Rick Spears & Rob G. (Teenagers from Mars, Dead West) Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War) Jim Rugg (Street Angel) Thomas Scioli (Godland) Jasen Lex (Gypsy Lounge) [...]

  3. Coming Up: Books Due in August 2006 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] available again: Moped Army (Fiery Studios, $12.95, JUN06 3125) Dead West (Gigantic Graphic Novels, $14.95, JUN06 3144) The Interman (Octopus, $19.95, JUN06 [...]

  4. Abhay Wrote a Boring Piece about Webcomics, Zuda, etc. | Savage Critics Says:

    [...] and who-gives-a-shit. Other people have done the cowboy-plus-fantasy mix before. Many, many, many other people. The art’s okay at least by Zuda standards, but it doesn’t really make up for the [...]

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