We are not pulling the rug over you; there are two Six-Gun Gorilla titles. Last week we reviewed Boom’s Six-Gun Gorillaand soon discovered that there was another. Well we didn’t have enough time to get a group review organized so we waited until this week to present you the group review for Six-Gun Gorilla: Long Days of Vengeance. As with every group review the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give their impressions and then a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Here’s a blurb from the creator: “A very big ape with very big guns blowing very big holes in very bad people.” That’s how writer Brian Christgau describes SIX-GUN GORILLA: LONG DAYS OF VENGEANCE, his bid to bring an ultra-obscure old Pulp hero from the 1930’s to modern day life in an all-new comic book series. The original Six-Gun Gorilla was published in an old British Pulp magazine called Wizard, written by an anonymous author in 1939 and the character has since fallen into the public domain. Earlier this summer BOOM! Studios announced that they were releasing a SIX-GUN GORILLA of their own, a low-tech Sci-Fi re-imagining about a futuristic blood-sport and reality TV show.
The team of Brian Christgau and Adrian Sibar bring this second side-arm toting simian book this month. I didn’t review the other book, so I am getting a fresh start with my review on this one. While not a fan of primates, I do like absurd concepts that are unique. Let’s face it; a screaming gorilla with a six-shooter in the Wild West comes off as pretty damned different.
The book opens with a shootout, and that’s a fine place to begin. After that, we jump back to the origin story of how the gorilla got his gun.
Read this comic book. I’m dead serious. Find it, buy it, and enjoy how Six Gun Gorilla: Long Days of Vengeance succeeds as any good comic book should. First, it has a premise that is interesting. Second, the artwork does as much to move the story along as the writing. Granted, the plot doesn’t have the depth of an Alan Moore comic, but the writing is terse and moving. Although Kumba the Gorilla doesn’t speak a word, his facial expressions reveal his thoughts and feelings. Meanwhile, the surrounding characters provide enough interest and balanced to open potential for further interesting plot elements.
My only identifiable flaw in the book would be the lack of a true cliffhanger ending. But since the book’s other qualities captured me, I know I will be back to find out how many bullets the Six Gun Gorilla has left in his iron.
For the most part, this interpretation of public domain character, the 6-Gun Gorilla, is, from what I understand, a bit closer to the one originally created by famously anonymous writers ... and is thus a bit predictable. A random ape gets captured from the jungle and is put into the circus to become a cracking good shot with a (specially-made) handgun. It’s fine for what it is, I guess, but I’m just not won over by the story about a gun-toting monkey ... a sentence I write, knowing it may get me excommunicated from the internet. It’s not bad, just not my kind of thing. The art from Adrian Sibar is pretty damn great, though, and I love how many scenes - particularly at the beginning - are viewed through a veneer of dust. Many of the layouts are also manically dynamic, which really draws out a sense of movement within this story. Also, this guy can draw the shit out of a gorilla ... figuratively speaking, of course; I have no idea if Sibar is any good at primate proctology. In the end, if a book about a sharpshooting gorilla in the Wild West is your bag, then you’ll probably dig this book. If it’s not, then you probably won’t. Simple as that.
I’m going to keep my segment short because you can hear what I thought about this issue on this week’s podcast. Needless to say I liked it, but didn’t love it. Even with that, it’s a fantastically produced issue. The story has a tremendous flow and never once dips or sags and the art is beautiful. Even if you dislike the story, the art is beautiful. My biggest thing with this series is that the story is too familiar. It’s just something that I’ve read before, but as long as it continues, I’ll buy it.
Funny how you can write for an awesome comic website and still not know that there were two titles coming out with the same main character. I recently read the Six-Gun Gorilla from Boom! Studios and it was very good... this indie book of the Six-Gun Gorilla is fucking great! I can’t emphasize that enough! It could be that I hold true indie comics such as this title to a completely other standard but it is something truly special. The back story of the circus was really cool and I can’t wait to see how the Gorilla ends up on his own as the first few pages show him.
The art was phenomenal. There’s something familiar about Adrian Sibar's style but I can’t quite put my finger on it. This book is definitely worth the $1.99 asking price, as a matter of fact even after receiving the promotional issue for this review I still sent a little love over to the creators by paying for the book. I hope that the $1.99 price keeps the lights on wherever they are and I hope that there will be an awesome collected edition later down the line when the series is all wrapped up.
Score: 3 Buys and a Borrow
Writer: Brain Chrisgau Artist: Adrian Sibar Price: $1.99 (Digital) Release Date: 6/5/13 Website (Warning: Music will begin to play)