Friday 3 October 2008

Gus & His Gang

Do you have an interest in amusing, bawdy comic strips about cowboys? No, I didn't think I did either but then I had a closer look at Gus & His Gang by Chris Blain (Isaac the Pirate), published by First Second. It features, through vignettes, the story of a small gang of three outlaws as they execute daring raids and tie themselves in knots over women.

These loveable rogues however, are aware of a shortfall in themselves and that's where the book finds its note of pathos. As they go in search of more meaningful relationships beyond bedhopping with the local whores, they find themselves conflicted with their own camaraderie and the life the've always loved. Yes, it's that point in a man's life when...

The book is drawn with a wonderful energy and emotion dripping from Blain's wavey line work and beautiful layouts. The story itself moves at a tremendous pace. It's one of those books that lulls you into thinking that you're reading a fun piece of nonsense until suddenly you become aware of the emotional undercurrent that's pulling you along.

Just one other thing: First Second have published some fantastic titles but one aspect I'm a real fan of is the smaller format - if I had a handbag, they'd always be one in it! SLS

There's a nice sample of the book at the First Second Books website here. These few pages alone made me look forward to it. The book really draws you in and goes at a quick pace. Very hard to put down. JMC

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