I knew nothing about this book before reading it, other than hearing on the side that it was a good bit of fun. After having a hard time trying to find a copy, I finally stumbled upon a copy of the complete series in a beautiful hardback collection. From looking at the cover I knew that this was going to be something different and fresh. But covers can mislead, and some indie titles out there try too hard to seem like an AAA title that they fall flat. So, how did this pan out…
The book is split into two story arcs and each feels different and great. The first really is an introduction and I guess as close as you can get to an origin tale of each of the ‘Triplets’. It has a few plodding moments, but on the whole was fun and constantly engaging. The second story is probably a stronger one in both a fun adventure and writing sense although it also isn’t without the odd stumble. The hardback ‘deluxe’ edition also contains a short story epilogue which rounds everything off perfectly and really makes you think about the whole saga. I wasn’t expecting a story like this to be as thought provoking as it turned out to be, and I will happily read it again and again.
Riley Rossmo’s art is phenomenal. I would go as far to say that it is one of the best looking comics / pieces of art that I have ever seen. It really is unlike most other things and works in a stunning way. The only artist that I could compare the work to is Ashley Wood, and that would only be for the careful use of colours and heavily scratchy looking artwork. The book isn’t black and white but then again it’s not full colour as one usually sees it. There is a careful use of light and dark that echoes the locations and the characters that inhabit the comic world. You can literally turn to any random page and you will see something that stands out. It’s truly a beautiful piece of work that never gets stale and never looks anything less than stellar.
With that said I couldn’t get enough of Cowboy Ninja Viking and could have happily read more (fighting through the odd confusing moment). This is a phenomenal book and a great piece of fiction that happily now sits up near the top of the best things I’ve ever read. If you can find a copy and think you’d enjoy something a bit weird, a little funny and surprisingly thought-provoking, you’d be hard pressed to find something better than this.
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