The story is an interesting historical horror piece. I liked the atmosphere of the comic. On the one hand, it is a slow burn horror story. On the other, it is a neat mix of the Civil War and a western. While this blend isn’t entirely original, it is one that hasn’t been explored to death. I like a good western, and I like a story that combines genres, so this book worked for me on that front. There were a few things that were less impressive to me than the setting and atmosphere, like the name of the protagonist. The other nagging complaint that I had was that the whole book felt Mignola-esque.
So, as a publisher, someone gives you a script for a book that resembles something that Mike Mignola might have written. Who do you hire to illustrate the book? Matthew Dow Smith was the first illustrator to work on the Hellboy line when Mignola started to get overwhelmed by his workload. So, yeah, hire a Mignola alumnus to work on a book that Mignola might have written. Now, I should be perfectly clear. I like the art. It works for this book, and I don’t want to take anything away from Smith. He did an admirable job, and the art is without reproach. I just think that hiring him was an incredibly safe choice, and I would have been interested to see the risky version of this book.
Ultimately, I think that is my main impression of this book. The setting is cool, the characters seemed relatively multifaceted, the art was great, and I look forward to reading the next one. The issue as a whole didn’t seem to be taking enough risks. The entire point of the book is to be a low-risk method to tease out how well this would do as a movie. I don’t want to seem too negative. I liked reading this one, but it is an interesting story, safely told.
Four Cowboy Ghostbusters out of Five.