Friday, 20 May 2016 20:45

‘Cobber #2:’ Comic Book Review

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Wrong place, wrong time.

Hayden Fryer continues his Western (Austraila) tale in the second issue of his series, Cobber (an Aussie term for friend to save you the wiki search).  The first issue served to set up the atmosphere and backstory, and now we arrive twenty years later in the present, where a loner's bike craps out on him at what some might consider a fateful time. 

What impresses me the most about Fryer's storytelling is his willingness to take time.  Most media today works at a very quick pace, satisfying the instant satisfaction of the "now."  I personally think that this phenomenon is what drives the resurgence of the Western genre as a whole and Marvel's cinematic universe, because both seem to count time as a luxury item to be spent.  It's this element that Fryer has mastered with his book, as he's willing to allow the characters time to breath, to establish moments and thematic arcs and all the little nuances that make this style of storytelling so endearing.  It's great to see someone this young having the faith in their product enough to let it sit out with such a counter-culture style and trusting the audience to notice.  I certainly did, and it takes the rush to know everything immediately away, letting it be a little vacation from the speed of the present and really dive into a story that's just begun to simmer.

Fryer's art helps that moseying feeling (I was asked to define mosey once. I said "Having nowhere to go and not being in a hurry to get there.), and the atmospheric touches are wonderful, truly encompassing the feeling of being on the edge of the world, the long silence broken only by the civilization that the few folks living there shout into the void of the outback.  The lines are a bit rough, but when the story boils into action, there's no denying the solid talent in the work.  He's got a good eye for composition, and it helps his story flow in the sedate, yet forceful, arc he's crafted.

If you're looking for a good Western (or dig Kurosawa's Yojimbo) from an indie source, this will fill your craving.  Fryer's confidence is infectious on the page, letting the characters' bravado ring true, and makes for a great storytelling style.

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