Accent UK 2012
Written by Dave West
Illustrated & Lettered by Gary Crutchley
I contacted Accent UK and expressed a desire to look at what they have to offer and do some reviews of their books. I came into this completely unaware of what they’ve done and who they are but seeing something out by them in passing made me curious. Also here in the United States we aren’t as exposed to comics from around the world as they tend to be so I was extremely happy and excited to receive a handful of books from them in the mail. They sent five issues in this series to me and I just read the first one and had to write down my thoughts on it and share them with everyone.
I’m always intrigued by the UK’s fascination and depiction of the American Old West and this one doesn’t disappoint. This series introduces us to Josiah Black, lawman, bounty hunter, killer for hire he’s been a number of things and his past has shaped who he has become and we learn what event it was that set him on his current course.
The name of this story is The Woman with the Dead Eyes and there’s a reason for that as a woman has sought him out. Mrs. Anderson is looking for one Jim Wilson coming into her home and for a few trinkets murdering her entire family while she wasn’t home. Josiah looks into her eyes and sees that they are devoid of emotion at seeing trauma that has forever changed her and left her cold. It’s a fair assessment after hearing her story and with the details she’s given him and that she’s tracked him to this town and the likelihood he’ll do the same to a family here he’s naturally going to take the job to find Wilson. Though he doesn’t guarantee he’ll kill him the man has something of a code and some ethics it would appear.
Gotta give props where they are due and Dave does one hell of a job in taking what seems to be a straight up story and turns into something far unexpected. Josiah goes on about the mission to find Wilson and discovers the that Mrs. Anderson’s story rings true as he finds the man has killed many of the Plunkett’s already and interrupts him killing the last two. Not seeing much of a choice he ends Mr. Wilson’s life heads back into town and collects his pay in the form of strange coins from Mrs. Anderson and then disappears. Quite faster than you’d she possibly could.
Wilson’s employer comes calling on Josiah and informs him that since he’s killed the man he’s now obligated to continue the work he was doing. For a more indepth look at that work and what it entails you’ll have to read the story for yourself but suffice it to say it’s pretty much why I think Dave’s a very smart man and talented writer. The way it travels from what it was to what it will be is amazingly well done and the writing, plot development and characterization is spectacular.
I’m also a fan of Gary’s interior artwork. There’s a nice simplicity to it that really works extremely well in black and white work. The linework, attention to detail, grey tones and shading all create a nice old west feel and the faces and expressions he brings to the book are really very well done. This book wouldn’t be as entertaining and delightful without him bringing it to life like he has.
Here’s my advice take a look at what’s being done across the pond and discover a whole new way of enjoying quality storytelling that will take you on an unexpected journey.