Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Comic Reading List: Catching up with last week

Jonah Hex #39 (Writers: Gray/Palmiotti, Pencils: Garres)
DC Comics continues to publish the best of the comic Westerns, which admittedly isn't saying much since there's only about four of them. Hex delivers the goods every month, and is one of the few mainstream comics that is actually designed to be read on a monthly basis, rather than in a trade volume. This month, Hex helps a novice sheriff deal with a band of violent fugitives, while at the same time trying to protect his favorite watering hole from the temperance movement.
The artwork of Rafa Garres is quite different from the usual mainstream artwork found in this title. There's a deliberate murkiness to the panels and a lack of clean lines. It is as if Garre is trying to capture the moral ambiguity of the Jonah Hex universe, with its noticeable lack of clearly defined, black-and-white morality. On an aesthetic level it works, but on a narrative level, the art is often too murky. I often had difficulty figuring out who was speaking to whom, and in what direction characters were heading.
Still, if you like Westerns, Jonah Hex remains the bright spot in the comic book industry.

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