Review: ‘Gus and His Gang’ by Chris Blain

Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler spent 16 years as a book club editor, most notably for the Science Fiction Book Club, and has been a judge for the 2005 World Fantasy Awards and the 2009 Eisner Awards. He is now Marketing Manager for John Wiley & Sons.

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2 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    There must be some reason why the good Western comics – hell, pretty much all of the Western comics – of the past three decades have all come from France, but I don’t know it myself. Consider that three of the top ten on IMDB's list of the all-time best Western films came out of Italy (and both from the same director); i think that Europeans, who essentially know the West only through our popular culture, produce great (and, let's face it, a lot more emphatically not-great) Westerns because they are distilling the mythic qualities without having any reference to the Real Thing at all.Remember – Wyatt Earp was a technical advisor to Hollywood and Tom Mix was one of his pallbearers. Louis l'Amour knew some of the great Texas Rangers he wrote about. Will James, who wrote "Smoky" was actually a French-Canadian horse thief who managed to con his way into US citizenship by giving that name (not his real name), to avoid being exttradited, when he was arrested and sent to prison.So, even if the American Western was pretty well fantasy from The Great Train Robbery on, and became completely fantastic by the end, it's loosely grounded in actuality, while the European Western is just as much fantasy as The Wizard of Oz.(Though i suppose we could consider the theory that The Wizard of Oz is actually a populist political allegory about free silver… No, Anna Russell and i are not making this stuff up, you know…)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I loved this book, and volume 2, which came out in French earlier this year, is even better. It also features a story that focuses on one of the women, which provides an interesting twist that works extremely well. Blain is brilliant.