Here’s the thing.
If you were to ask me to write a list of themes, settings and styles I wanted to see in a comic, the first four entries in that list would be Dark Humour, Noir, Steampunk and Cowboys.
So, imagine my surprise one day when I find myself on the website of Accent UK, a small press comic publisher here in the UK.
Then, imagine my delight when I start to read about WesterNoir.
Dave at Accent was kind enough to send me a copy of Issue 1 of WesterNoir, and I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t get the opportunity to read it for at least a fortnight - and it’s taken me even longer to put pen to paper (or rather finger to key) to write something about it.
At this point in this little writeup I’m going to make a deal with you, my sexy, sexy reader. If the rest of this review sounds vague, I apologise:- but please understand, I’m only doing it because I don’t want to spoil WesterNoir’s gooey, squidgy centre for you.
You see WesterNoir isn’t what you think it is. I mean, it is; but it also really, really isn’t. The first issue introduces us to a man named Josiah Black - a man who it quickly becomes apparent isn’t afraid of using a gun - before slowly and methodically lifting the story’s skirt to give you a glimpse of calf so tantalising you’ll be dying to poke your head up it’s petticoat.
Black has been hired to investigate a man who it is feared is going to kill the family of his new employer, and he wastes no time in tracking the seemingly deranged would be murderer down. What follows next is too good to spoil, but rest assure it is far better than I’m making it sound, and by the end of issue one you’ll be gagging for the next installment.
The art in the book is pretty good, all things considered; it’s all black and white (which in truth I’m not the biggest fan of), but each panel is still has plenty of energy and life in it. I’ve got to say that the front cover (seen above) makes me yearn for a full cover version of this, but this is the Small Press we are dealing with (where costs have to be kept down wherever possible), and while the art is nothing to write home about it does a perfectly good job of pushing the story along, which I’m absolutely fine with.
One thing I’m a huge fan of, however, is the binding of the book. It’s presented as a kind of mini TPB, with cardstock covers and thicker pages than you’d necessarily expect, and I hope the rest of the series is produced in the same way.
Overall, Accent have produced something that they should definitely be very proud of. It’s a compelling opening to a series that looks to have some novel ideas behind it, and I’m already looking forward to the next one (although due to the way Small Press works, I have no idea when it will see the light of day). I was sent this copy to review by Accent, but I will happily part with my own cash for the next instalment in the series if I need to, and I think that is about the heftiest recommendation I can bestow upon this title.