Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: Hairy Things #1

Apparently there was a 2007 comic book series by Jay Carvajal and Marc Borstel entitled The Miasadventures of Clark & Jefferson, and it was about cowboys fighting some sort of aliens.

I know this because I just looked it up on the Internet. I didn’t know it before reading Hairy Things #1 (APE Entertainment), the first issue of a three-part miniseries subtitled “The Misadventures of Clark & Jefferson,” and it didn’t matter a bit.

The characters in the story obviously all knew one another, and they alluded a few times to having recently had rather unusual adventures involving creatures from the sky, but Hairy Things was perfectly new reader friendly. As I read, I got the sense that I may have missed out on something more than the sense that I missed my chance to get into something.

Hairy Things opens with the sub-titular characters, just-retired sheriff Clark and his just-retired deputy Isaiah Jefferson leaving town with their friends, Mary and Giving Bird.

They’re not on the road long when they find an abandoned stage coach, all of the people missing, lots of signs of struggle—including plenty of blood—and none of the valuables touched.

They take it into the next town they see, where they learn the locals have been being captured and eaten by what Giving Bird calls “Chiye-Tanka,” or “Big Elder Brother.” We’d call ‘em Bigfoot.

So that’s what Hairy Things is about—Cowboys vs. Bigfoot. As high concepts go, that’s one that’s right up my alley.

There’s a little bit more to it than that, with a small army of Bigfeet closing in on the town, and the townspeople far from blameless in provoking the ire of the creatures, but that’s the gist of the story.

A great deal of attention is paid to the characters, specifically their interaction with one another, which results in a pretty fun, chummy atmosphere.

I’m not crazy about the artwork, which reminds me quite a bit of that of Steve McNiven (It’s good in the same ways that McNiven’s is good, and weak in some of the ways that McNiven’s is weak). Some of the character designs are on the wonky side (Particularly regarding Mary, who looks like an unfortunately air-brushed Barbie doll), and their panel-to-panel consistency can feel unnatural, particularly in the way they emote.

On the other hand, it’s a well-written Western comedy adventure about cowboys fighting Bigfoot (that's just as fun as it sounds), so it has that going for it.


Dammit. I just realized this doesn’t actually come out until January. I wouldn’t normally have reviewed it this far in advance, but I already read and wrote this up, so what the hell. Something to think about ordering in advance if you like westerns and/or Bigfoot, I guess.

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