Pullbox Reviews The Spellslinger- An eldritch western horror carrying enough of Cthulhu’s DNA to qualify for child support

Rick is a Spellslinger, a gun for hire with the added advantage of being able to harness magic and use it through his pistol. The catch is that Rick is cursed & every use of magic consumes just a little bit more of him. The easy road would be to turn his back on the problems of those around him, but as much as he might argue the fact, it doesn’t look like walking away is a thing that comes naturally. So it is that when Rick finds himself in Hope, a dying town worshipping a dead god, with a restless ghost following him around like an insistent stray cat, there’s nothing to do for it but to get it done.

I have a deep and abiding love for the classic genres, but like a good bourbon mixer they get even better when they can be blended. Like A Haunting on Mars, a fantastic sci fi/horror story written by Zach Chapman. After reading it, I threw out some much-deserved praise on the social media site formerly known as Twitter. Much to my surprise, that little blurb got me an email from Zach, expressing his appreciation for the kind words and offering a look at his next project.

The ”weird west” subgenre is one that, so far as I’m concerned, gets nowhere near the amount of love it deserves. A stranger… a Man With No Name, perhaps… wanders into a nigh-deserted town to find corruption and injustice, possibly with a side of revenge to be served up with blazing six-shooters. In the case of The Spellslinger, that oft-repeated story is just the start of things. Rick (okay, he does have a name) is established early on as the reluctant participant in Chapman’s story, a character with a dark and secret past. While the protesting anti-hero is nothing new, Rick’s situation is complicated by a curse, manifesting as his burning right hand. We’re not limited to the usual and expected “not my business” tirades, but we also see Rick’s condition getting worse, the burn creeping farther up his arm every time he uses magic to get out of trouble.

Without a doubt, Zach Chapman is a writer who needs more people following his work, but we’re talking about a comic book. That means as good as the writing is, it’s gonna be pretty boring without some pretty pictures. Or, with Spellslinger, not so pretty.

The fact is, there are some fairly horrific things going on in these pages. Ben Terdik got the assignment, from the creepy crawlies infesting the book, to casual human sacrifices throughout. I’ve been trying to figure out what his style reminded me of, and the only thing my brain came up with is rustic. There’s something old, something rural to the look which sells the story that much harder. Mind you, I’m not talking about the idyllic down-hominess of an old ranch landscape, with green fields and a comfortable-looking house. There’s enough wrongness from The Spellslinger’s story infesting Terdik’s artwork to take something verdant and twist it into something sinister.

Hit the link for Kickstarter’s “remind me” page and get notified when the campaign goes live. Team Spellslinger has put together an entertaining book and their work deserves a strong launch. This is a story for all the Call of Cthulhu players, fans of The Wild, Wild West (the TV series, not the movie), and anyone who thinks that Clint Eastwood was totally playing an angel of death in Pale Rider.

Final Score: 11/13

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ThePullbox.com is a part of ThePullbox LLC © 2007-2024