one of the coolest comics I wasn’t reading: The Sixth Gun


 

Sometimes I pick up comics slower than others. A lot of mainstream comics I grab are heavily promoted within other books, or have “big” names attached to them. The comic might get a spotlight shined over it by a popular website or magazine, getting even more attention. Because of that, smaller comics might go unnoticed. Every now and then I stumble upon something that I really wish I had found earlier in it’s run. If it was a miniseries, no sweat, just pick it up as a trade or easily buy them all at once. For an ongoing title, it’s a little bit harder.

The Sixth Gun was one such title that I wish was on my pull list from the beginning. I was aware of the series, but only that it was a western by Oni, that seemed to have a supernatural twist to it. People that know me, you would think I would be all over that. I recently found out I like westerns. Growing up that was so far down on my list of things. I credit the movie Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid for turning that around. As far as supernatural stories are concerned, why wasn’t I reading The Sixth Gun? Like I said, I was aware, as far back as Free Comic Book Day 2010. The cover caught my eye sometimes, but I never picked it up. Finally, I was bored with the common superhero shtick and needed a change. This little series was staring at me, begging to be read. So I gave Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt a chance. This comic was amazing, and I mean absolutely amazing. The supernatural vibe is present from the get go when we’re introduced to the main character, Drake Sinclair and the antagonists. If Hellboy took place in the Wild West, it would be called The Sixth Gun. There is so much depth and mythology in this series. Bunn has done an amazing job of pulling various stories from American history and building on it, making it his own. Big characters tear through the annals of the Wild West with awesome powers and abilities, but nothing is so epic to alter history. I can totally believe these “tall tales” existed in their day. The extra little bonus to this series, for me anyway, is the intrigue from page one of the first story arc. Another genre that I recently changed my opinion on is mystery (noir, whoo-done-it, etc.), and mystery might as well be Sinclair’s middle name. Also, learning about The Six has been very cool. After the first arc, that mythology went surprisingly deeper, with a new possible antagonist hinting at the true purpose of The Six. Besides Sinclair, the rest of the cast of characters have been memorable and well developed. When characters leave or enter the story, it’s never with a wave and hello/good-bye. I think that shows the writer has done something correct, in that the reader cares about what happens to the characters in the story, or is interested in learning more about newly introduced characters.

The art has matched the writing the whole time, being nothing short of great. Hurtt’s cartoon style really fits the story. The fast action scenes and clean art trick me all the time, make me think I’m looking at screenshots from an animated TV show or movie. Like Guy Davis, Hurtt can draw great, innocent looking human characters, but then switch gears and draw some disturbing monsters that take up a whole page. His artwork has made me look for their earlier collaboration, The Damned. I’m almost caught up with The Sixth Gun, and I think The Damned will be next on my list.

If you like Tombstone and Hellboy, and would like to see a mash up of the two by way of Disney, you should check out this series.

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