Galveston #1 A Fresh Look at the “Western” in Comics

Galveston #1 (Boom! – Stokes / Scott / Herman)
True fact- fabled pirate Jean Lafitte spent his last years not on the high seas, but in Texas. Guess who his best friend was? Jim Bowie. What adventures must a swashbuckling corsair and an American frontiersman have had together in the Old West? It’s Deadwood with pirates, man. Pirates! Available with 2 covers.

When I first read the synopsis of this series, I thought to myself that this will never work. A pirate and a gunslinger on wild adventures together? Sounds like a poor man’s version of Shanghai Noon. And with recent attempts by different companies to bring back the traditional “Western” comic plagued either by bad stories (The Man with No Name) or just inconsistent shipping (The Lone Ranger), I just didn’t expect much from Galveston at all.

Well Johanna Stokes showed me that I should be setting my bar higher, much higher.

Joanna Stokes (writer of Zombie Tales, Cthulhu Tales, Station, TV’s Eureka) constructs a fun and easily flowing story about these two friends that sets up the series. The issue start aboard Lafitte’s ship where mutiny is about to take place, the soon to be ex-captain and Bowie fight and con their way into an escape. This creates a backdrop for this ruffian version of the odd couple that involves at the very least finding a hidden treasure and avoiding old enemies and their landing in the fist-to-cuffs town of Galveston.

Ms. Stokes does an outstanding job of getting the characters to the readers. Through her dialog and interactions, she has us not only understanding and sympathizing with, but also cheering for Bowie and Lafitte. Which is a pretty tough order, given that through certain eyes, both of these characters could be considered villains (we can call this the “Jack Sparrow” syndrome).

Greg Scott (Gotham Central) and Todd Herman bring a photo-realistic edge to the art and take this book to an even higher standard.

If you even have a passing interest in the genre, you have to give this books a try!

Issue grade: A

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Updated: November 23, 2008 — 3:19 pm

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