Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Literature Review #7, The Gathering:Western 2

The graphic artists responsible for "The Gathering" works have given us a second volume of western stories. Like them, I firmly believe that tales of the Old West need to make a comeback in today's culture.  What has made America great has been forgotten.  Virtues such as independence, justice, good over evil, and hard work are ignored by a nation that has grown weak and lazy.  When our children watched "Gunsmoke," they cheered for heroes with a strict moral code.  Today, they cheer for "Dexter,"....eek!
In this volume of "The Gathering" we are treated to some short (bullet like) stories that are gritty and introduced to some characters we easily get behind.  Glenn Matchett and Jenny Gorman create a gunfighter as alluring as Selena from "Underworld," and just as deadly.  Seeking vengeance, a beautiful woman heads into the eye of the storm with her six shooters.  Can the bloodshed forecasted by the first few frames ever turn into friendship and understanding?  Read on!  In Charles Butler's "Albino," the staple of the oater, a man's horse, becomes so much more important than a means of transportation.  The concept of risk has been lost from modern culture, but a couple of centuries ago, risk was inescapable.  In Sean Fagan's "Fences," we are introduced to some horrific images which we will not soon forget.  However brilliant and capable we are, this story by Mr. Fagan hammers home the point that we are never in total control...a difficult concept for us to believe in 2015.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a series of pictures may be worth volumes of words.  In "Dust to Dust," Francis C. Helvie gives us a narrative sans words.  No matter, the artwork unfolds for us a historic and grim tale.  The last few pages of this volume present some bold images (...not only the drawings).  Rodney Traynham's "Capital Punishment" transcends the past, present and future.  Perhaps this work gives us a glimpse of a world where the values of the Old West have been forgotten.  I will say no more about this story, as spoilers would betray my obligation to the artists that put this volume together.
On March 2nd I will review "The Dark Trail" on this blog.  It will be the first western I reviewed since November 13, 2013 when I reviewed "Priest."  This volume has reminded me that so much virtue is presented to us through tales of the Old West, that is ignored today at our own peril.  To order this volume, check out the website http://www.grayhavencomics.com/comics/the-gathering-western-2/  

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