Bloody Chester

J.T. Petty and Hilary Florido. FSG/First Second, $18.99 trade paper (154p) ISBN 978-1-59643-100-3
The genre of western horror has been most famously dominated by DC Comics’ Jonah Hex, but writer Petty brings some of his own pedigree to a work that skillfully pulls the rug from under Hex. Petty’s 2008 film The Burrowers mixed the Wild West with underground monsters, but his graphic novel debut puts aside the obvious—as well as the machismo—to conjure up a creepy, complex, and surreal mystery that also shines as a character study. Chester Kates is a young badass fighting his way through life when he is hired to burn down the plague-stricken town of Whale to clear the way for the railroad to come through. In order to do so, he has to deal with the final denizens of the future ghost town, traversing exploring their interpersonal relationships and obsessions, and uncovering plenty of secrets along the way. Florido’s artwork brings a further sensitivity to the story that positions it at arm’s length from the usual Wild West comics. Also featured is more fine color work by Hilary Sycamore, whose skilled palette provides Petty and Florido’s work with an explosive boost off the page. (July)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 07/03/2012
Genre: Comics
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