Eldritch Kid

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Eldritch Kid

Creators: Christian Read (w) and Christopher Burns (a)
Publisher: Phosphorescent Comics
Address: PO Box 243 Cammeray, NSW, 2062, Australia.
Price: $1.99 (US)

Hugely popular in the 50's and 60's, the movie western was abandoned in the 70s as a cliched and worn out genre. Every so often someone tries to resurrect it (think Unforgiven, Tombstone, Dances with Wolves). The same thing has occurred in comics. Characters like The Two gun Kid and Jonah Hex disappeared only to be resurrected in in revisionist fashion with Jonah Hex dealing with all manner of horror creatures, and the Two Gun Kid as a hilariously camp cowboy. The theme seems to be find a gimmick to hang the western on to spice things up.

Now Phosphorescent Comics are making an entry on the wide open plain with Eldritch Kid. The cover art leapt out at me from their booth at a recent convention so I was more than pleased to get a review copy. Things are straight into the action in this issue as we see a rune covered six-shooter blowing a hole through some unfortunate's head. Seems that the Eldrich Kid and his trail mate Ten Shoes Dancing got hired for a suicide mission without knowing, so upon their return they're aims to settle a few scores.

The setting of this book is similar to the Vertigo Jonah Hex series: a weird west populated with black magic type. This book has a strong Cthulhu influence in the nature of the monsters, and the devil makes a guest appearance. The mix of spooky folks and dark humour is amusing but so far it lacks really likeable characters. The strong and silent Eldritch Kid is a laconic anti-hero, and fairly unappealing. He just seems to shoot things and Gamble. Ten Shoes is far more entertaining with his Oxford education allowing for some amusing throwaway lines.

Christopher illustrates the book with an eye for character design. The facial features of the cast of supporting characters are full of .... character! It's interesting to contrast them with the rather bland and underdeveloped faces of the central characters - quicker to draw I guess when they appear in so many of the panels.

This looks to be creepy shoot-em-up series drenched in dark humour. So far it just lacks some likeable characters. A couple of cold-hearted killers are good for a laugh but hopefully they have a wider range of emotions than surly and surly.

In a Word: Potpourri

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me