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January 2, 2018

Touring the Cosmos: Six Gun Gorilla TPB

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Written by: Eric
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Six Gun Gorilla
Publisher: BOOM!
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Colorist: Andre May
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover: Rico Renzi

On another world colonized by humans, a world engrossed in reality TV (an apt critique on the direction the real world is heading), the people live with their TV’s literally strapped to their heads, subscribing to watch the ultimate game of death: War. While the vast majority of people live in dystopian cities behind a wall of security, beyond the wall lies the Blister.  The Blister, a harsh frontier rich in resources is engulfed in a civil war that has raged on for years. Those down on their luck, hoping to give their lives for the benefit of wealth for their families and some seeking to hurt others through their suicide volunteer to die for the viewing public.  Being fitted with “psychic tumors”, these suicidal soldiers broadcast their own deaths to desensitized viewers, while the shady corporation running the show reaps the benefits from the pleasure of the viewing public.

Our hero is an ex-librarian who fantasizes about being the main character in some of his favorite stories but after losing the love of his life, he has come to the Blister to die…and fails.  While stumbling through the battlefield, he unwittingly comes across a trinket that could unravel the whole war and reveal the mechanications that keep it going.  With a chance to finally be a hero and a target on his back he attempts to survive the insanity of The Blister alongside an unlikely companion, a six-gun wielding gorilla.

Simon Spurrier excels at building wild and crazy worlds and my first impression of Six-Gun Gorilla is that it was one of the most unique books i’d read in a long time. The Blister isn’t just a frontier wasteland full of cowboys but a living environment more in the vein of Jumanji where everything you come across has the potential to kill you.  It is a place where strong emotions trigger earthquakes and anger awakens creatures that spring up from the ground.  The creatures of the Blister are weird and multifaceted.  There are mysteries to be unraveled, damsels to save, villians to thwart and one insane baddy hot for the heroes blood.  If there were any pacing issues or needless exposition I honestly failed to notice it. 

Jeff Stokely and Andre May collaborate to bring an art style that works great to match the theme of Six Gun Gorilla and is easy to praise. Expressions and emotions are incredibly easy to read and compliment the narrative beautifully.  Having previously read The Spire I have a high opinion of Stokely’s attention to detail and ability to convey action and ramp up the tension through illustration so I wasn’t surprised to find that i’d enjoy the artwork.  The frontier has a strong western vibe and a rich red sandy color palette attached to it while the city is swathed in deep depressing blues and purples.  These color decisions do wonders to convey the contrast of feelings in both areas.

I didn’t know what I was going to get from Six Gun Gorilla when I first purchased it.  I was inspired to read it after enjoying and reviewing the second collaborative effort from Simon and Stokely The Spire. The Spire was good, I enjoyed it and gave you all the most honest opinion I could muster.  Six-Gun Gorilla blew me away.  From start to crazy finish I was completely along for the ride.  I’ve tried my best to avoid specifics about the main protagonists mostly because of the intricacy of how they’re tied together.  To speak of one is to reveal a bit about the other and I want people to learn about these characters for themselves.  Needless to say this is a highly recommended read for ages 14+. The story is intelligent and engaging, the action is fast paced and rendered beautifully and the climax was more than satisfying.  

Eric Snell
esnell@comicattack.net

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