Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays from the Weird West Emporium!

The Holiday times are here and New Years is right around the corner! There are no more shopping days left until Christmas, but that doesn't mean its too late to find some great books to cozy up to during these long cold winter nights! Here are a few last minute items I wanted to mention that will take you through the holiday season and into the New Year!

For pure Weird Western awesomeness and a stellar reference guide to the genre, pick up Paul Green's Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns: Supernatural and Science Fiction Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Films, Television and Games which you can pick up HERE. Its a way more comprehensive read than the Weird West Emporium and has things Ill probably never get too. Also Paul has a great companion WEBSITE that picks up where the book leaves off.

Next up is Ed Erdelac's Merkabah Rider books, which can be gotten HERE and HERE in hard copy and eBook.

The story is:
The last of an ancient order of Jewish mystics capable of extraplanar travel, The Merkabah Rider roams the demon haunted American West of 1879 in search of the renegade teacher who betrayed his enclave. But as the trail grows fresher, shadows gather, and The Hour Of The Incursion draws near... Four novella episodes in one book.

A friend of mine has devoured both books and says they are spectacular; a definite must read!

Also, Ed has a great Website called Delirium Tremens where he explains the inspirations to his stories, a great trip report for the 2010 Steamcon convention (Which I failed to do a report on, oops), and many other things. You can read it HERE.

Also, check out this cool trailer that was made for the Merkabah Rider series!

The final book is the Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale by Mike Resnick. Its a different take on Wyatt Earp, Tombstone, and the gunfight at the OK Corral. I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, but its getting a good reviews and could be just the thing to heat up those cold winter nights! You can get THIS at Amazon too!

And that about does it for me. As The Weird West Emporium moves into its second year I wanted thank everyone for their support and readship! Ive never actually taken on anything as large as this before and its really inspiring to know that people are not only liking my site but loving the Weird West in general. I love that there is an audience for it! Hopefully next year will get even bigger with the release of Cowboys and Aliens, (and maybe other stuff that hasn't been announced yet? The Lone Ranger perhaps?) Plus there will be a ton more stuff to talk about here at the Emporium. These past two years have barely scratched the surface of whats out there. (Actually it will be two years in April, so I shouldn't celebrate just yet!)

Also, I'm considering a (sort of) secret project that everyone will be able to participate on when its up and running, but more on that later.

I'm going to take a couple weeks off and the Emporium will be closed until January 10th, so until then I hope you guys have a safe and fun Holiday season! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Old West Zombies in Rotten!

Zombies and the Old West seem to be the current trend lately. The Western is becoming something of a go-to genre to plop the undead into. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Zombie Western as much as the next guy (Undead Nightmare and others), but as I scour the aethernet for fresh material for the Emporium it seems like the most common "Weirdness" I come across is...Zombies. Joe Casual-Weird-West-Fan might not realize it with all of the flesh eaters popping up lately, but the Weird West is so much more than just Zombies (Thank goodness for Cowboys and Aliens!) Over the next few months Ill be doing posts about the glut of Zombies in the Old West as I come across more and more of those little fellers.

(Actually as a side note, some reviews of Undead Nightmare actually thought the idea of Zombies in the Old West was a really weird idea, and some even mocked it. It got to the point where Rockstar Games had too defend their position with examples of the Weird West in popular media. Kids nowdays.)

With all of that said, however, there are actually some very interesting Zombie Westerns I want to report on soon, such as a new film I JUST heard about last night called Revelation Trail, which Ill talk about in a few weeks.

...but until then...

Mark Rahner, Robert Horton, and Dan Dougherty have come out with a post civil war Weird Western comic called Rotten published through Moonstone comics. The artwork looks really nice, and I'm interested in getting my hands on the first trade paperback to see how the story reads.

The story synopsis sounds pretty interesting: Meet William Wade, Civil War vet, reluctant secret agent answering to President Rutherford B. Hayes, and zombie-hunter! In Reactivated, Agent Wade begins his mission with partner J.J. Flynn in a mining town locked down in a labor dispute and a siege of the undead. Plus, the two agents go undercover in an isolated, snowbound, debauched Army fort under slow attack by the undead - uncovering a Donner-like party and the fact that the wretched things are arising in different species everywhere. Collecting the first six issues of Moonstone's acclaimed zombie-Western epic with an edgy topical bite.

They put together a trailer for the book that looks, brutal and scary and really really good, so I cant wait to check the book out:


Rotten even has its own WEBSITE that has samples of the artwork and other stuff for the curious to check out. You should also keep an eye out at the Amazon Page for when the trade paperback is finally released.

The Wild Wild West Returns to Television!

This news is a little old, but I wanted to post about it anyway because I have a feeling it's going to be big. is reporting that former CSI executive producer/co-showrunner Naren Shankar and Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore are planning on rebooting the Wild Wild West for CBS. This is very good news, if you have seen Moore's new version of Battlestar Galactica you know that he can reinvision a property in a very new and interesting way! I hope he brings this much love to The Wild Wild West.

Long time readers of the Emporium know that I have a love/hate relationship with the film version of Wild Wild West. It should have been an amazing film. It had the chance to not only redefine Western Steampunk, but to be the pioneering film for new generation of Weird Western films. In many ways its gorgeous look at and the amazing machines might have saved it from being totally forgotten. The humor, for the most part, fell flat on its face and making the main villain, Arliss Loveless, a racist just made him incredibly uninteresting. He had plenty of motivation for destroying the United States without being a cartoon stereotype also...but one thing the film did do right is lay the groundwork for what a great Wild Wild West TV show could look like!

I hope Moore and Shankar take their cue from the film in terms of design and fantastic Steampunk machines, and put the humor and story into the capable hands of good writers.

Until then however, HERE is the original story at I will be following it very closely, so expect to hear more when I do!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rango...A Weird Western?

I had known about Gore Verbinski's Rango a few months ago. There was a teaser trailer with the main character running around the desert in a Hawaiian print shirt. With Johnny Depp doing the voice, and the way the first poster was designed, it looked a little like an animated version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with funny animals (which, now that I think about it, would have been pretty darn cool).

A bigger trailer was released today that showed more of the film, and now it looks like something else, an all out Weird Western; or at least a standard western with animated animals. With a name like "Rango" I should have suspected. Regardless, its a gorgeous looking film and I felt it was worth showcasing here. It really seems too get the Western look right.

...but, is it "Weird"? Now you can decide that for yourself! Rango opens March 4th.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Undead Nightmare, The VGAs, a Soundtrack, and a review!

It was a big night at the Spike TV Video Game Awards on Saturday for Red Dead Redemption. It picked up 4 of the 9 categories it was nominated for, including Best Score (which I can personally say is great), Best Song (Far Away by José González), Game of the Year, and Undead Nightmare took home the award for Best DLC. It was a great night for Westerns (and Weird Westerns!) least on the Video Game front.

The Official Synopsis:
When former outlaw John Marston wakes up at his farmhouse, he finds a world gone insane: overnight, deranged hordes have overrun the towns and outposts of the American frontier. In a desperate attempt to save his family, Marston must traverse a world torn apart by chaos and disorder, using every skill he has to survive long enough to find a cure.

For anyone who hasn't picked up Undead Nightmare, (and isn't as interested in the main Red Dead Redemption game) now is your chance to see what all the fuss is about. Rockstar has released Undead Nightmare as a stand-alone disc. It has the entire world created for Red Dead except mutated into a Zombie Apocalypse of Undead Nightmare, and you dont need the first game to play it. From personal experience I can say that Undead Nightmare is a GREAT game. It works best as a final chapter to the main game. Characters and situations play carry over from Red Dead and the humor of the game comes from your familiarity with the things you've seen before. Its also the reason the game works on a horror level. Seeing the towns and landscapes that you've become familiar with in the first game, so strangely different, firmly puts you into the shoes of John Marston as he deals with what has happened his home.

However if that stuff doesn't matter, Undead Nightmare is a great Zombie Western all on its own. It has plenty of scares and laughs (and frequent frustrations) to make it a fun experience for first time players. It might even pique the interest of some to pick up the original, a wise investment in my humble opinion.

The music in Red Dead is great, and the music in Undead Nightmare is equally great, yet different. In some of the quieter scenes the soundtrack is full of bass harmonicas and strange alien chirping....almost as if the landscape itself were making the noises. There is even a track of music that reminds me of the creepy whistling from High Plains Drifter, very appropriate. Other times, especially during fight scenes and in action areas, the soundtrack breaks into some groovy 70s rock tracks that fit the scene perfectly. Its as if you are watching a cool 1970s Italian Zombie Western.

They just released the Soundtrack to Undead on iTunes, and its great. You can pick it up there or you go HERE and listen for yourself. Make sure to check out the the stand out track Bad VooDoo by Kreeps, which I posted below, you won't be disappointed! The game and soundtrack don't take them selves too seriously, but even so the scares come honestly.

My final analysis on Undead Nightmare is if you are looking for a great Zombie Western video game, and dont care about not being familiar with elements of the previous game, you can't beat it. When I first started playing it I loved it more than the original game, however by the end I found I loved it only just as much. There are some tough parts that I wouldn't want to do again (cleaning out the graveyards becomes increasingly difficult as the waves of Zombies become nearly endless by the final round). Also it is nice to go back to the original game sometimes, after awhile it gets a little tiring constantly having to look over your shoulder for a surprise Zombie attack (but honestly, I probably wouldn't change a thing). For the price this is an absolutely fantastic game. Music, graphics, gameplay all carry over flawlessly from the first game. The story is good, and spending more time with John Marston is always a plus.

If you have a game console and you haven't picked this or Red Dead up yet, shame on you...but now is your chance to make amends. And if you are a fan westerns and Weird Westerns, Double shame! Well worth the price and very, very fun. Plus, sometimes its just so satisfying to go out onto the plains, riding around on your horse and shootin' zombies!

I give it 4 out of 5 Bloody Spurs

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More stuff on Cowboys and Aliens!

It was fortunate that they released the new international poster for Cowboys and Aliens today. I was planning on posting a trailer commentary that Jon Favreau did and now I can kill two birds with one stone!

I love the new poster, I think I actually like it more than the first one. It feels like its in the vein of the original except that the "Cowboy" is clearly Daniel Craig now. I'm also liking it's style with the silhouetted figure rimmed with light, I hope all of the characters get posters like this!

If you click the image above you can see a bigger version!

Also, a couple weeks ago, MTV sat down Jon Favreau and had him do commentary on the trailer. There is some interesting stuff here as he talks about the film and some of his thoughts on certain decision he's made.

On another level, its interesting that MTV is doing this. As far as I know they haven't had other directors commentate on their trailers....Is it possible? A hotly anticipated Weird Western? I dont think there's any doubt about that, the trailer has surely caused a splash.

Personally I think this film is going to be huge, and will quite possibly reinvigorate not only the Western (as I'm certain True Grit might do too) but the Weird Western as well as studios start rushing to get that Cowboys and Aliens money. Lets just hope it does fall into a pit of crappy cheaply made films (we have enough of those already) but only time will tell...Until then enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Poster and Trailer for Cowboys and Aliens!

The first poster for Cowboys and Aliens has been released and I gotta say...WOW! I was just reading a snippet of interview with Harrison Ford (where he quickly mentioned this movie) and he was saying that the film starts off very much a strong Western, then suddenly has a strange new element added too it, and then goes back to being a very strong Western again, except with this new element in the mix (the very definition of "Weird West" if you ask me). This poster feels very much like that. You have the dynamic cowboy pose, a gorgeous desert landscape, and a wristband made from alien technology. The poster says it all, and it looks great!.......but lets just hope the film is just a dynamic. This film is one of the strongest hopes for the Weird Western genre to come along since Wild Wild West (which, coincidentally, there is also some new news about that I'll report on later this week)

Its possible too that, with the release of the first poster, there might be a teaser trailer coming very soon. Ill keep you guys posted on the details!

Also, if you click on the above picture, you can check out the details in a larger format!

EDIT: So, quite unexpectedly (sort of), the new teaser trailer for the film was released today. Wow! It starts off with a bang and gets better throughout. Everyone looks great! AND We get our first look at Harrison Ford as Woodrow Dolerhyde (and Keith Carradine is in this?! Awesome!). I think the trailer will make a big splash, it looks great.

They've opened up the official movie site and there are pages to Twitter sites, Facebook, and Blogs....basically anywhere that people are talking about the movie and everyone seems to love it. Also there are pages with new images, videos and downloadable stuff. Keep it bookmarked, I'm pretty sure they will be updating quite frequently until the film is released next July.

Until then check out the trailer!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tom Hardy to hunt Vampires in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?

For one reason or another I haven't reported on the book and impending film version of Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter yet. I guess I was thinking it isn't really a "Western" so it doesnt really fit in here at the Emporium. Its pretty East coast (About as East Coast as it gets with it being Washington DC and all) and even with Lincoln growing up in Kentucky and Illinois it doesn't get much further then the Mid-West.....but it's a Civil War-era Vampire Hunting movie and, when put that way, I had to say something about it.

The book was written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and takes a look at the Lincoln no one knew about, the Lincoln that was a highly accomplished Vampire hunter. As I looked through it at the book store I expected a fictional narrative of Lincoln's life except with the added addition of him being a Vampire Hunter.....but the book is structured more like a true life account, using doctored photographs, journal entries, and written accounts to paint a "true" portrait of Lincoln's secret life.

Before I knew about the book, however, I'd heard about the movie, which is being produced by Tim Burton and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (who directed Night Watch, Day Watch, and Wanted) and last week they reported the first bit of casting. Tom Hardy is being pursued for the role of Henry Sturgess, a vampire who rescues sixteen year-old Abraham Lincoln from a vampire attack and trains him in the ways of vampirism to help him become a more effective hunter. Sounds VERY interesting!

I'll report more on this as I hear it but until then have a look at the trailer they did for the book back in February, hopefully the movie will be this good!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Strange Things afoot at The Haunted Benjamin Ranch

Back in the days when the west was young, hundreds of frontiersmen and cowboys traveled through the ranch on the Santa Fe Trail. For some, this is where their journey would end.

Between now and then the ranch has thrived, entertaining the locals of Kansas City with parties and rodeos. Until recently...

Recently they've decided to scare the place up on Halloween. They've turned the Benjamin Ranch into the Haunted Benjamin Ranch and it looks like they do a fun job.

Between The Haunted Stables and the Stockpen Cage Maze they have the haunt Mazes covered.....and then throw in a haunted hay ride (which Ive recently become interested in due to a local attraction) and a freak show you've got a good event....especially for a first time venue.

Granted, they do have quite the silly promotional video. It starts off pretty good, but then becomes down home wacky, but it shows off some of the things in store, including lots of footage of the Dusty Cadaver Freakshow (and what appears to be the nail in the nose trick.....ugh.....)

Doesn't really set the tone for a scary event, but it certainly does set the tone for a family event, which The Haunted Benjamin Ranch promotes itself as.

They also showcase their scarier side of the with this video, a walk thru of the Haunted Stables haunt attraction.....still a little silly but genuine and everyone seems to be having a good time!

Everything you could possibly ever want to know about the event (including directions, Hours, and Ticket prices, plus an FAQ page about event specifics) can be found at their OFFICIAL WEBSITE and their Youtube Page

So if you happen to be in the Kansas City, MO area you should stop by and give these guys some support!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Dead Walk at Nightfall!

Halloween is right around the corner and with it comes a few Weird West themed Haunt Attractions!

First up is Nightfall which has been around for Twenty Years and are a very popular Haunt in the Tucson area. Every Halloween the Old Tucson Studios turns into the town of Nightfall, ruled by the evil Dr. Jebediah Hyde who does twisted experiments at his Ghoulliard Institue.

The official word is this:

Since the beginning, the evil Dr. Jebediah Hyde has ruled Nightfall, incessantly torturing the inmates of the Goulliard Asylum for the Perpetually Insane in the name of “scientific research.” He overcame a recent challenge to his authority by the evil Isabel and her army of zombies and restored to himself to his rightful place as ruler of Nightfall. Now, it’s back to business as usual in this Twentieth Year of Terror … or is it?

The event has 4 different shows, and 4 Haunted attractions that range from Ghost train and a Haunted Mine.

For Official details, ticket pricing, dates, and the story for the whole event at their OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

and for a little taste of the event, there's this:

Also, look out for more stuff on the Old Tucson Studios in the months ahead. Its going to be the site for the Wild, Wild West Steampunk Convention...but more on that later!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The End is Nigh......

There has been so so SO much Undead Nightmare material from Red Dead Redemption that has come out lately (about an average of 2 to 3 things a day for the past month) that Ive been hesitant to post anything quite yet for fear of this site becoming the Red Dead Emporium! ...but with the impending release of the game just one day away (Oct 26, i.e. tomorrow) the time has come...

Undead Nightmare is basically an alternate story that diverges from the main story of Red Dead Redemption. It takes place during the "Home" period when John Marston, having finished his obligations to the government, returns home to be with his family and start his farm. However things aren't as he remembers them.

This game looks insane! Someone described it as being like a movie set where, during the day everyone is shooting a stright forward Western, but at night a crazy director comes in a shoots a bad ass Zombie Horror Western using the same cast and crew and thats exactly what this seems like; a completely separate story that uses the same characters.

This is going to more than satisfy my Weird West lust the way that Red Dead satisfied my desire for an open world sandbox game (ever since I played Gun...which is very much an open world Western game in the vein of Red Dead but at much smaller scope.)

The game also has an insane Multiplayer feature. Its called Undead Overrun and its basically stay alive for wave after wave of zombies. Everyone IS going to die, just how long can you prevent it from happening!

They revealed some mythical creatures as well. My favorites being the 4 Horses of the Apocalypse!

There are also new weapons, 4 New classes of Zombies, new in-game challenges and achievements....its practically a whole new game (wrapped in a bundle of Weird West awesomeness)!

Plus anyone who doesn't own the original Red Dead Redemption will have a chance to buy Undead Nightmare as a stand alone game in about a month....and Ill keep everyone informed as to the date when its announced.

But until then, there's more information than I could possible post at the Official Undead Nightmare site. There are videos, TONS of pictures, and a full description of the game. More than enough to keep you occupied until the impending Zombie Apocalypse....

...which starts tomorrow, btw...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Red "Undead" Redemption - Undead Nightmare Trailer and artwork!

This has been quite a week for Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar Games has been releasing images and video for their "game add-on" Undead Nightmare all week, and I gotta say I am VERY excited!

If you read my previous post about this you'll know that I LOVE Red Dead Redemption, due to it's story and detail it is quite possibly one of the best Western games ever created....and while taking a very realistic game and adding in a Zombie element might seem mildly weird to the uninformed, it is amazingly clever as well. Fighting Zombies in the Old West is Classic!

The story is this:

Unleashed upon the world of Red Dead Redemption, the Undead Nightmare Pack will feature an entirely new mostly single-player campaign that follows John Marston as he tries to find a cure for the highly infectious zombie plague that has spread across the frontier.


Yesterday they released some great High Def screen shots, (including John Marston, the games protagonist, riding a Zombie Horse!) which you can see HERE......but its all been leading up to today, when they released the first teaser trailer for the game.


A lot of fans of Red Dead have been complaining that this is going to ruin the integrity of the original game, but they shouldn't worry, Rockstar has confirmed that the story is going to be a separate from the normal game. Personally, their complaints have fallen on the deaf ears of this Weird Westerner.....although I certainly understand their concerns.

The images and trailer look like they've channeled a little bit of Grindhouse, and a smidgen of some Italian Horror, some great 70s horror in general (the original game channels Spaghetti Westerns nicely, especially in the music) and hopefully this "Episode" will be really scary and a lot of fun!

Rockstar has an official site with everything that has been released so far HERE and its a very safe bet that this wont be the end, so as more info and media is released Ill post it here at the Emporium!

Until then......braaaaaaains......

Monday, September 13, 2010

Merkabah Rider 2 and The Blood Bay!

For fans of Edward M. Erdelac's work, he's back with two more tales from the Weird West!

I hate to admit it, but I have yet to read Ed's first book in the Merkabah Rider series, Merkabah Rider: Tales Of A High Planes Drifter.....but in my defense, I'm a terrible book reader. My mind is always running around, and I'm always doing something. So sitting down to read a book takes a bit of a commitment.....I think I have a bit of ADD (or maybe I just drink too much caffeine).....but regardless, a good friend of mine DID read Merkabah Rider 1, and he said it was GREAT.

Well fans of the series have something to be happy about as the adventures of The Rider continue in Merkabah Rider: The Mensch With No Name

Damnation books describes it like this:

The Merkabah Rider continues his journey across the American Southwest of 1880 in search of the renegade teacher who destroyed his mystic Jewish order in the 2nd volume of this acclaimed weird western series. As the Rider unravels more of the mystery of the Hour of the Incursion, demons are the least of his troubles.

The book is once again an anthology, made up of 4 Short stories, The Infernal Napolean, The Damned Dingus, The Outlaw Gods, and The Pandaemonium Ride. These make up episodes 5 though 8 and tell the ongoing adventures of Erdelac's hero.

The book has been released as an ebook through the publisher's website and should be released in hard copy form within the next few weeks.

Also, for a comprehensive review of Mensch With No Name, head on over to Paul Green's Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns site where he actually reads books and doesn't drink too much caffeine!

And speaking of websites, if fans of Ed Erdelac's work haven't been going over to his blog, Delirium Tremens you are missing out. He writes up some fascinating explanations about his work and the inspirations behind his stories. There is a write up about Mensch With No Name, but what I'm specifically thinking of is the second story he released recently, The Blood Bay.

The Blood Bay is one of the short stories in the new Midnight Diner collection. Erdelac describes the story like this:

My own story is about a boy (Jonas) who comes to live on his father’s ranch following the violent death of his estranged mother in a freak accident. His father has remarried, and although Jonas takes to life on a horse ranch, he cannot bring himself to accept his father and stepmother. Then, in an attempt to win his son’s love, Jonas’ father brings him a skittish, wall-eyed blood colored mare and tells the boy he can keep it so long as he can get it to eat...

He also explains that his influences were John Steinbeck's The Red Pony (the bane of many a High School English students) and the Greek Myths of Diomedes and his Man-eating Mares. Particularly "Xanthos (or Xanthus, meaning ‘blonde’ or sometimes ‘bay’).....whom Hercules captured as his eighth labor."

I don't know about you but I think this sounds like a fantastic idea for a short story.....sort of The Red Pony in Hell! Edward talks about his inspirations at length in his article HERE, or if you want to be surprised the Midnight Diner collection can be found HERE, although I haven't been able to find a release date, but they are taking pre-orders.

UPDATE: Merkabah Rider: The Mensch With No Name is available now in both ebook and hard copy formats. They can be bought HERE

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Dark Tower coming to Movie theaters....AND TV screens!

I don't want to get too excited yet....Ive heard it all before. Everyone has tried to do an adaptation of Stephen King's seven part Weird Western, Fantasy, Horror epic The Dark Tower. First as a TV series, then as a Trilogy, then as a TV series again. Even JJ Abrams tried it....and couldn't.

Well NBC/Universal has announced today that they signed a deal with Stephen King to have all 7 books adapted into 3 movies and (from what Ive been hearing) 2 TV series'. Ron Howard is directing the first film and the first season, Akiva Goldsman is Adapting it, and Brian Grazer will be producing it. Details on the following seasons and film haven't been announced yet.

I dont think this has ever been done before, The New York Times described it as if Lord of the Rings had had a TV series in between each film to bridge the films.....and I agree, although I wonder if it will all be coming out within a few years of each other......and we can expect the cast to be mostly Unknowns due to the high level of commitment they will need to have. I dont think a cast has had this level of involvement in a film series since Harry Potter.

I believe the source for this is so Ill link to that (although its been fire-storming through the Internet so a Google News search will basically bring up the story from most of the news sites.)

The Dark Tower is one of my absolute favorites, I hope this happens! I'll report more on this as details become available!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns has a second printing!

If you didn't already know, Paul Green's The Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns is THE reference of all things Weird in the Western genre. This is a fantastic book that came out last year, and has now moved into its second printing! If you haven't had a chance to pick it up, you should, its an essential part of any Weird Western fans night table reading.

From automatons to zombies, many fantastic elements have been cross-pollinated with the western genre. This A-to-Z encyclopedia of the Weird Western covers film, television, animation, dime novels, pulp fiction, comic books, novels, short stories and video and role-playing games.

I blogged about it when it first came out last October, and I still love it. Its a great reference for when I'm doing research for The Emporium, or just feel like getting lost some Weird Western minutia for a while.

You can also order the book from its publisher, McFarland and Co. Inc.....and you can visit Paul at his website, The Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns which, like The Emporium, is one of the few sites dedicated to Weird West goodness online; and acts as sort of an addendum to the book.

If you haven't pick this up yet, you should do it today! And Congratulations Paul, you've written a durn fine book there, pard!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Set Photo from Cowboys and Aliens!

Collider reported today that Noah Ringer, who is starring in Cowboys and Aliens, tweeted a new photo from the set. Looks cool! Kinda.... Is it just me or does this particular shot look like the set from a 2 O'clock Wild West show at Tombstone or Knott's Berry Farm? It looks a little fake, especially the back buildings, with their thin structures....unlike the previous photo which was a great shot from set. I'm sure lighting and camera work can do wonders....or who knows, maybe this is meant to be blown up in the alien invasion! Or.....Maybe I'm just being to picky......We shall see..

You can click on the above Photo for a better look!

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Weird West comic book series The Sixth Gun!

I could honestly kick myself. Doing research for Yesterday's post I came across the cover of a new Weird Western comic called The Sixth Gun from Oni Press. The reason for the self kickage-ness is that they released the entire first issue, absolutely free, on Free Comic Book Day 2010.....which I purposefully missed due to a lack of titles that I was interested in...I suppose I should have done better research...

If you can't tell by the name, Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May when comic book companies release free issues of certain comics to promote them. The Sixth Gun was a good choice because it has just begun an ongoing run last month.

Oni Press decribes the title like this:

During the darkest days of the Civil War, wicked cutthroats came into possession of six pistols of otherworldly power. The Sixth Gun - the most dangerous of the weapons - has vanished. When the gun surfaces in the hands of an innocent girl, dark forces reawaken. Villains thought long dead set their sights on retrieving the gun and killing anyone in their path. Only Drake Sinclair, a gunslinger with a shadowy past, stands in their way.

Nice! and as luck would have it, all is not lost. Robot 6 has posted the entire first issue online for our weekend reading pleasure (in two formats even, you can read it right on the site, or download a PDF of the issue to keep forever and ever).

Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt's The Sixth Gun is 32 pages of Weird West awesomeness...And it can be read right HERE....Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Weird West on Deviantart!

Sometime contributor and friend of the Weird West Emporium, Ashe Armstrong, has started a Weird West group on Deviantart.

I have to admit, I haven't flirted much with the site. Its great for looking up pictures and such of my current obsessions, or for images for the Emporium, and even professionals post their work there. Looking for a certain picture online tends too be eased by going to the artists page on Deviantart and seeing if the picture in question was posted there.....Its hit or miss, but there's no denying that the site plays host some REALLY talented artists.

The weird West group is small right now, but its growing...and the work that's there shows the high quality and talent I was speaking of previously.

This is what Ashe has to say about it:

Over on deviantart, [I've] started a Weird West group, It's still in its infancy but come check it out and if you have a dA account, join up and help it grow!

So far I'm liking what I'm seeing, You folks should head on over and check out the group....and if you happen to be part of the site, know what to do!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Weird West in DC comics...

Two new books have come out from DC comics recently and both seem fairly rooted in the Weird West! The first is issue 4 of the mini series The Return of Bruce Wayne and the other is Secret Six #24 - Unforgivable.

If you dont know, last year sometime Bruce Wayne was killed (or was thought to have been) and for the past year people have been racing to reestablish Batman's presence in Gotham City. The story is a bit complicated so in a nutshell, Bruce wasn't killed, he was catapulted back into time to the stone age.....and now, for some unknown reason, he's being pulled irresistibly forward to his correct time (Our present) stopping in certain eras as he goes. The current issue has him stopping in the Old West. I haven't read the issue yet, but from the following preview the opening is a doozy!

Grant Morrison’s can’t-miss Batman story rolls on as Bruce Wayne’s next stop on his amazing journey through time brings him to the Wild West – but will he escape alive? Artist Georges Jeanty joins Morrison to take The Dark Knight on a ride.

You can check out the exciting opening pages to issue 4 right HERE

The second book that came out last week is Secret Six: Unforgivable.

I dont know a lot about the Secret Six, except that they are a group of Super villains who are trying to make good.....or at best are Anti Heroes. Since I dont read the series I'm not sure where a Western Adventure fits in.....but I'm not complaining!

I like the art work and I like the dialogue in the opening pages. The Cowboy is a villain named Deadshot (he's one of the "six") and it seems MORE than appropriate to recast him as Gunslinger. Here's what DC has to say about the issue:

In a small, corrupt mining boom-town, six remarkable strangers who hate each other band together in a bloody last stand against an army set on destroying them all!

The issue was written by Gail Simone and drawn by J. Calafiore and you can read the first 4 pages right HERE!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DC Showcase - Jonah Hex!

After the disappointment that was the Jonah Hex movie, DC and Warner's take another crack at the character and hit it out of the park. The new DC Showcase Jonah Hex animated short is everything the Jonah Hex movie should have been. Here there is no bringing back the dead "powerz" or iffy origins, just a straight ahead Jonah story with a deliciously dark edge, some great music, and fun performances.

The tough-as-nails bounty hunter always gets his man - until someone else gets to him first - in this case a murderous madam who wants to steal more than just his bounty from Jonah Hex. Based on a story from the award-winning Jonah Hex comic series, and scripted by world-renowned author Joe Lansdale. The voice cast is led by Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder).

Currently, the short film is available in two ways, Its a bonus feature on the Batman: Under The Red Hood DVD that just came out last month, and then it is going to be part of the DC Showcase DVD that is coming out later this year.

Honestly I dont know how long it is going to be online, so you should check it out as soon as you can, and maybe even support its release with a purchase! Maybe we'll see more of Jonah's adventure in the future when DC and Warner's realizes that we actually DO care about the character......when he's treated right.

You can see all of the awesome Jonah Hex action right HERE! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Dead Redemption goes Weird West!

Probably one of the best video games to come out in the past few years is Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption....When I say best video games, I mean it is an absolutely gorgeously executed work of art..that you can PLAY! The detail is awe inspiring, every tree has individual leaves, as do the plants, the lighting is magnificent and day changes into night in an incredibly realistic fashion. And the weather, sudden rainstorm create puddles on the roads, and flashes of lightning illuminates an entire valley of raindrops, and its all held together by an incredibly compelling protagonist and colorful cast of supporting characters.....if you haven't had a chance to play it yet you should, it stunning!

Now the good folks at Rockstar are about to make things all the more interesting with the Undead Nightmare Downloadable Content Pack. For those who dont know, a Downloadable Content Pack (or DLC for short) is newly created content that Rockstar has created for the game that that you download from the internet onto your Playstation 3 or XBox 360 console and the game seamlessly integrates it into itself. Parts of the game maps can be expanded, and new characters are added, and it will all feel as if that stuff has been apart of the game the whole time.

The Official word from Rockstar is this:

Today, we are proud to announce plans for an ongoing series of downloadable content for Red Dead Redemption.

Four packs of add-on downloadable content will be released for PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE over the next few months, starting with the ‘Legends and Killers’ Pack at the beginning of August and culminating with the Red Dead Redemption ‘Undead Nightmare’ Pack this fall. These packs follow the recent release of the Free ‘Outlaws to The End’ Co-Op Mission Pack, which is available now on PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE.

Undead Nightmare Pack
Ghost towns and cemeteries come alive in a West gone horribly wrong:

* Brand new single player adventure, Challenges and quests
* 8 New Multiplayer Zombie characters
* Additional animals unleashed in the world
* New Dynamic events
* More details to follow...
* Release date TBC
* Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE)

Sounds Spectacular!

Theres no word yet about when it is coming out (besides Fall) but its assumed that the Zombie pack will be out around Halloween. I sure hope so, fighting undead Zombie cowboys sounds like a great way to spend the Holidays!

Now, of course Red Dead Redemption isn't necessarily a Weird West game, although elements of the Weird West have been snuck in (either intentionally or by accident). An old abandoned Mansion in the Ghost Town of Tumbleweed is said to be Haunted, voices can be heard in the Basement and, if the conditions are right, an apparition has been seen sitting in the dark (supposedly)

I will admit that last time I was there, I heard a dog barking....and there was no dog around...hmm

There is also supposedly a Werewolf in the area known as Tall Trees and an Undead Horse Mount you can obtain (by futzing with your game system...not advised)

On most occasions, however, the game tends to glitch, and it has happened often enough (and weirdly enough) that RDR glitches have become an entertaining past time. People have been seen flying in the air like birds, another person has been seen running around and attacking people like he was a cougar, and my 3 personal favorites:

Donkey Woman

The Gunslinger Dog!

So far info has been light on the new Undead Zombie Pack, but as soon as I hear something (and get my hands on some pictures) I'll post them here....but until then, get them firearms broke down and cleaned, there's gonna be some Zombie fightin' to do in the near future!

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Official Image for Cowboys and Aliens!

So, the San Diego Comic Convention is over but some good stuff came from it! Mostly, relating to this blog, John Favraeu and the cast of Cowboys and Aliens came to talk about the film. Some footage was shown (although not much since they've only been shooting for 4 weeks) and the first official image was released (which you can click on to make bigger).

The Panel consisted of Favraeu, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach and Harrison Ford at his very first Comic Con ever (Apparently he was a little stunned at the reaction when he walked on stage)

Coming was there at the panel, and wrote up a run down of the footage that was shown, and described it like this:

1) The first clip wasn’t super exciting and just featured a very grimy Daniel Craig ride up to a house on horseback, go inside and wash his face in the sink before inspecting a nasty wound on his stomach. He’s got a weird gold bracelet on his wrist. Before he could examine it closely, he’s stopped at gunpoint by none other than Clancy Brown who says only two people get shot like that: villains and victims. Craig says he doesn’t know which one he is.

2) Craig is sleeping in a jail cell when somebody spits on him from an adjacent cell. It’s Paul Dano, who taunts him and tells him he’s in a world of trouble when his father gets there. Craig pulls a very James Bond move and reaches through the bars and pulls Dano in to them headfirst, knocking him out.

3) Here’s the money scene. Dano and Craig are escorted in a police wagon and chained together, much to Dano’s terror. They’re about to ride off when a group of men on horseback arrive, led by Harrison Ford as Dano’s father. The sheriff tells Ford that they have to take Craig to see the judge but Ford wants Craig for himself, “Either you give him to me or I’ll get him myself.” Ford looks scruffy and pretty great in what little we see of him. Just as things are about to get heated, the men notice something in the sky. There’s a very skinny string of lights making their way towards them.

The lights get closer and closer, before they disappear. All of a sudden they reappear right above the small town as three or four alien ships that immediately start raining fire and blowing up everything in sight. The ships seem to beam down small circles of blue light followed by the fireballs that gave a little WAR OF THE WORLDS feel. In the midst of all the chaos and destruction we see some of the other characters; Olivia Wilde saves a small boy hiding under a house, Sam Rockwell tries to save his wife/girlfriend as escaping horses nearly trample her, and Harrison Ford looks perplexed/terrified. All of a sudden the side of the police carriage is blown open by the same blue light we see from the ships. Daniel Craig walks out wielding some sort of alien weapon on his arm (clearly the weird bracelet from the first scene). He looks down at it as if it’s new to him, then looks to the attacking spaceships and fires a blast that brings down one of the vessels on to the street below. The attack ends and the town slowly walks over to the crashed spaceship, led by Craig, who looks down at his arm as the weapon mechanically shrinks down back to bracelet size. He shares a look with Ford and the scene ends.

Sounds amazing, I wish I could have been there!

Yo can read more about the Con and the Panel at and

Monday, June 28, 2010

Guest Reviews: The Wicked West Vol. 1 & Dead Man's Hand

Guest columnist and frequent Emporium reader Ashe Armstrong reviews a couple of pistol packin' Weird Westerns (That Ive been too lazy to get to myself) so listen up ya' all!

Long days and pleasant nights. The infernal Mr. Adams has been kind enough to allow me to bring to you some weird west reviews. Specifically, The Wicked West vol.1 by Todd Livingston and Robert Tinnell and Dead Man's Hand: Five Tales of the Weird West by Nancy A. Collins. The former is a collection of pretty pages narrating a tale, and the latter, if you couldn't figure it out, is an anthology of five stories. I'll try to leave out spoilers as best I can, so no worries there, folks. Now, without further ado, let's get this shindig started.

The Wicked West vol 1. is an interesting take on vampires in the west. The story is told in a sort of dual narrative, flashback/flashforward setup. The main character's exploits are remembered by a child that witnessed them, while watching a movie in a theater with his grandson that reminds him of the events. These parts serve two purposes well. The first is to give a comparison of how bad the events actually were. The movie they watch is a typical, good guys in white, bad guys in black fair that ends happily ever after. The truth is horrible and unpleasant. The second is to contrast the vampires. In the film, the vampire is Lugosi-esque. In the story, well...teeth, teeth and teeth. The story is a solid one. Mysterious stranger, small town, big trouble. Tried and true. Outside of the delivery and the main character knowing how to handle things, there's not much here that hasn't been seen before. You can definitely see the influence of Robert E. Howard's short, “The Horror from the Mound”. And that is a good thing.

Now for the art. It's good. The lines are excellent, great detail, realistic but with that nice hint of cartoon/comicness. The colors though...well, sometimes they're a bit heavy. Like maybe Neil Vokes , the artist for the book, had to color in photoshop and still wasn't use to doing so. That's not to say it looks amateurish, just heavy. It works though and I admit that I'm probably being a little harder on it than I should but I'm kind of a picky bastard, so you'll have to forgive me.

And added bonus to the book is the short story in the back. Along with some sketches, there's a short story about a different character in a similar situation that was actually pretty damn good. And clever to boot. It involves the character and a young boy hunting a pack of vamps, with an interesting little twist. I don't want to spoil it too much but it was a lovely little pulp story and if you only like the comic, this story caps things off and makes the price of the book worth it. I'd give the whole thing a 7 out of 10.

And now we get to the big dog, Dead Man's Hand. The first thing you folks, my fellow lovers of the weird west, will notice is the forward. It's by the man himself, Mr. Joe Lansdale. He essentially tells us to have the utmost faith in Nancy A. Collins and he ain't wrong. He actually says at one point that it's like all the positive traits of pulp stories got taken and blended together. After finishing all five stories, I'd say that's pretty damn accurate. I'll give a quick run through of each story, three of which are actually novellas.

The first story is a fun, pulpy tale of vampires and the Texas Ranger chasing them. “Hell Come Sundown” has some very interesting things going for it, including one area that I sincerely wish had been brought out more but admittedly, wouldn't have fit for the narrative at large. The story starts off one way, telling the tale of a young boy whose bedroom is haunted by something, and then swerves into the real story, the Ranger and the vamps. And it's quite the fun ride.

The second tale in this hand is “Lynch”. The best way to describe “Lynch” is that's a Frankenstein-revenge story set in the west. It speaks on the afterlife, revenge, racism, dying, loss, all the things good out in the weird frontier. I sorely loved this story. Especially the horse. I think you'll love the horse too.

The biggest offering in the hand is “Walking Wolf”. And it's a doozy. It's the story of a skinwalker. A werewolf, but not at all in the mainstream sense. Walking Wolf (the character) recounts his life for us, the reader. He was found by Comanches and raised as one. Being a skinwalker made things both easier and more difficult for him. His Comanche brethren (and the other tribes), viewed him as a good luck sign, or good medicine but he was not met without some fear at his “true face”. He makes some serious mistakes and exiles himself to learn more about what a skinwalker is and what he should do with his life. Along the way, he meets a crazy preacher that adopts him, snake oil salesman that takes him under his wing, a vampire gunslinger from Russia calling himself The Sundown Kid, and others. The story makes excellent use of history. Featured prominently is Sitting Bull and the forcing of the tribes into reservations. The plight is spoken of in an interesting way and doesn't get preachy. At least, I didn't feel it to get preachy. It's pulp and it's history and it's a lot of fun.

Now we get to the short stories. Second to last is "The Tortuga Hill Gang's Last Ride," which if you pay attention, is hinted at in the first story of the book. This story, well this one's an interesting little spin as it's based around the sidhe. The sidhe are Celtic creatures, for those who don't know. Nancy gives them a little spin as well. Center stage is greed and punishment, tied together with reputation. The Tortuga Hill gang has an unexpected visitor one day who proves himself extremely capable. But as is often the case in the weird west, his presence brings a less than favorable outcome.

The last story, “Calaverada,” is...well, it's the weak link here. It's an interesting story, no doubt but for what it tells, it's too short and too quick. It deals with the Mexican Day of the Dead. I honestly think that with more work, this story could've hit a Lovecraftian level (only without the inherent racism and occasional dryness). The ending is pretty Lovecraftian but alas, it falls short. I think this story should've opened or went second. It's a bad endcap.

Now, overall, I adore this collection and it gets a 10 from me. That last story should've gone in a different spot though. Ah well, I'm not the publisher. I highly recommend checking out both books, especially Dead Man's Hand. I had been craving weird westerns so badly and these two just filled me up right. I devoured Dead Man's Hand over the course of several days and probably would've done so quicker had I not been in the middle of moving. Check 'em out and keep 'em close.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Set Photo from Cowboys and Aliens!

I just found this exciting bit of photography over at Paul Green's excellent Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns site. Jon Favreau has posted the first photo from the set of Cowboys and Aliens on his Twitter account! Filming commenced on June 10 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the film is set for release in July 29, 2011...Almost exactly a year from now!

After the Daniel Craig picture, and now this, I'm not exactly sure why I haven't kept an eye on Favreau's Twitter account, but I think that should change very soon, especially if he's going to keep up with this behavior!

Also, in related news, Walton Goggins has just joined the cast that also includes Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Noah Ringer, Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, Keith Carradine, Adam Beach, and Paul Dano.

Man! I just got really excited for this....What a cast! As I hear more news I'll pass it on....til then, Adios Pards!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale

So, I was perusing the Aethernet today, looking for this or that, when I came across a very interesting book that's going to be published at the end of the year. Its called The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale, and its being written by Mike Resnick. I didn't know who Mike Resnick was but he has a long and very impressive resume. He's won 5 Hugo awards and has been nominated for 28 more, sheesh! So its safe to say that Im not too worried that his new book will be awesome (or at least it should be awesome and theres no excuse for it not to be!)

The official press release for the title is this:

The year is 1881. The United States of America ends at the Mississippi River. Beyond lies the Indian nations, where the magic of powerful Medicine Men have halted the advance of the Americans east of the river.

An American government desperate to expand its territory sends Thomas Alva Edison out West to the town of Tombstone, Arizona on a mission to discover a scientific means of counteracting magic. Hired to protect this great genius, Wyatt Earp and his brothers.

But there are plenty who would like to see the Earps and Edison dead. Riding to their aid--old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. Against them stand the Apache wizard Geronimo and the Clanton gang. Battle lines are drawn, and the Clanton gang, which has their own reasons for wanting Edison dead, sends for Johnny Ringo, the one man who might be Doc Holliday's equal in a gunfight. But what shows up instead is The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo, returned from the dead and come to Tombstone looking for a fight.

Welcome to a West like you’ve never seen before, where “Bat Masterson” hails from the ranks of the undead, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same.

I think I'm on board, that sounds really cool! Plus with the very Dr. Grordbort-esque ray gun on the cover, how can you go wrong? Or could that be one of those cases of judging a book by it's cover?...hmmmm. Regardless, I love the cover art, and the Synopsis, and I am definitely going to check this out.

The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale will be released this December from Pyr

Friday, June 18, 2010

Movie Review: Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex has been getting spectacular reviews.......spectacularly BAD ones. On Rotten Tomatoes, it is currently at a 14% Rotten rating. So I went into this expecting the worst piece of poo of the season, and.....I didn't get it; not exactly. I will say this, I had fun in Jonah Hex, if you check your brain at the door and go in with no expectations, you might actually have fun watching this movie. Is it great? DEFINITELY not, is it good? sorta it fun? yes, but like I said, its a big, dumb, fun B picture.

However, it isn't without its problems. The first point of irritation was that this isn't "Jonah Hex" the comic book character, it truly was Wild Wild West in tone. While Jonah is fighting off Turnbull in Virginia and Washington DC, Jim West and Artemus Gordon could have been fighting Arliss Loveless and his 80 foot spider in Utah and blowing up the town of Silverado.

...but something I wasn't prepared for is how grim the film was...Most of the clips Id seen (and the trailer) seem to have a rather comedic edge to them, Jonah was portrayed as a lovable curmudgeon who is always getting one upped by Megan Fox, that wasn't the film at all. While being VERY "comic booky" and "action movie" it was still fairly grim and serious in its style and tone, with only a few moments of humor spread throughout. Also, there was a lot about the trailer I didn't like, certain line readings seemed forced like the "I cut myself shaving what happened to yours?" line that Josh Brolin says in the trailer - Too loud, too fast...In the film all that stuff was fixed.

Story-wise the film was a bit muddled, but there was never a point (that I noticed) where I was lost, or didn't' know what was going on, the story is pretty simple and they stick too it (Turnbull Bad - Jonah Good, Jonah stop Turnbull)...which makes it a short film. Jeopardy is never really perilous, Jonah and Lilah get captured and then get free, Jonah gets shot and is close to death, but you know he isn't going to die....its more of a question of how he's going to survive.

The actors were good. Brolin is great, if they ever reboot this franchise I hope they keep him, Megan Fox was good too...I like her as a gun totting gunslinger girl, too bad there isnt much of that here. John Malkovich is was the weak link....not because he did a bad job but because he seemed too not know what the character was all about and just decided to do bored psychopath instead of intriguing villain.

As for the Weird Westness of this, They firmly planted it into the genre. The filmmakers didn't stop with Jonah talking to the dead or the glowy bomb balls, they even have a scene in a fight tent with a snake monster man who can extend his jaw and spouts sizzling venom. This film won't convince anyone that the Weird West is a viable interesting genre worth exploring (We'll have to wait for Cowboys and Aliens for that) but it isn't a hack job either....but then neither was Wild Wild West so take that as you will.

What irks me most about this film is it could have been great, instead of making it mediocre and then creating a stellar marketing campaign, the film itself should have been the draw, but instead they made a film that has nothing to do Jonah, really, they just slapped his name on it and will blame the films failure on the character not being very well known. This is a fun film, take Hex out of the equation and its a fun supernatural Western, but it isn't Jonah Hex like I said before and the failure this film is sure to be what will convince the studio heads that Jonah doesn't have the fan base for another try. If they could have gotten Lansdale in to do an adaptation of Two Gun Mojo (just to keep the tone of the first film intact - Sequel-wise) it could have been a hit. But I doubt we will see much more from Hex on the big screen for a long, long time.

I give it 3 out of 5 Bloody Spurs

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Buzzard and Billy the Kid's Old-Timey Oddities!

I wish I could I could say that I was a reader of Eric Powell's The Goon, but I'm not....I AM, however, a fan of his artwork and especially his mini series Billy the Kid's Old-Timey Oddities, a BIG fan. So imagine my surprise when I heard that not only is there a new Weird West comic coming (actually it came out last week June 9th) called The Buzzard, but also a back-up story featuring the new adventures of Billy the Kid and the Traveling Freakshow he got caught up with.

Very excited is a good way to explain it!

I wish I knew more about The Buzzard, but here's the official word on the series:

The mysterious man known as Buzzard is lost, wondering what manner of creature he is, following his brutal showdown with the loathsome Zombie Priest in Eric Powell's celebrated Goon Year.

Buzzard leaves home, wandering into the shadowy spirit realm of the forest. A dark path leads to a village living in fear of a bestial race of savages. More animal than man, these creatures hunt the villagers and drag them from their slumber in the depth of night

As for Billy The Kid, which Powell did with Co-Creator Kyle Hotz, Comic Book Resource explains the original series like this:

The original "Billy the Kid" series ran for four issues in 2005, with the outlaw having faked his death and joined a traveling carnival. Though none would count him a friend, Billy embarks with this unusual crew on a quest to steal a mystical artifact from the castle of Victor Frankenstein. Things go poorly, on the whole

The new series pics up where the original left off, with Billy and his crew in some obscure part of Europe - "It's actually a nice little creepy story about what happens to them along their way on an errand to help a friend of the Oddities in England" says Powell.

If you get a chance to pick the original you should, its great...The artwork, while deceptively simple and "sloppy" is actually very sophisticated and tight. And the story is fantastic. When I was reading it, I couldn't put it down...and then it was over. Very fun read.

I can't imagine this new one will be any less enjoyable. I'll let you know my thoughts after Ive picked it up.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jonah Hex returns to animation!

Jonah Hex is building quite a collection of animated appearances. Its no surprise, he's a great character that deserves more exposure then he's gotten in the past.

At the end of July DC Premier is releasing their new animated movie Batman: Under The Red Hood, and as a bonus feature there will be a short film starring none other than Hex himself; for obvious reasons I'm very excited.

Well imagine my surprise when I went to the Newsarama comic site and found that 3 new images have been released from the short! While I'm not surprised by the decidedly dark tone of the images, I was still...a little surprised....and certainly delighted.

Here's what Newsarama has to say about the short:

Scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale and starring the voices of Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder), the DC Showcase short is based on the award winning comic series. The short is rated PG-13.

In the DC Showcase story, the tough-as-nails bounty hunter Jonah Hex always gets his man - until someone else gets to him first - in this case a murderous madam who wants to steal more than just her bounty from Jonah Hex.

Sounds like a great cast! My only wish is that it were feature length. Maybe next time. You can find the images HERE and Batman: Under The Red Hood will be released on July 27, 2010.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Haunted Old West of Lee Winters

Written by Lon Williams, Lee Winters was a Weird Western pulp character who's stories were published in Real Western Stories pulp magazine between 1951 and 1959. Lee was basically a cowardly deputy marshal, from the town of Forlorn Gap, who was thrown into all sorts of supernatural situations ranging from Ghosts to demons, and Greek gods to the Three Fates. From what I can gather, Lee's only regular co-star int he series was Doc Bogannan, the Saloon Keeper from Forlorn Gap who tries to warn Lee away from making the stupid decisions that get him into trouble in the first place.

He sounds like an interesting character, personally I'd love to see Joe R. Lansdale take a crack at him. But like a lot of pulp characters from the past, his stories tend to be a bit...formulaic? Pulpfan from Live Journal has done a nice article about the formulaic nature of Lee Winter's stories. There are also links to some of the stories.

There isn't a lot about Lee online, he seems to be a pretty obscure character mostly forgotten by everyone except for those who seek him out. But I was able to dig around and find a page of his stories HERE which, paired with the links from Pulpfan's site, should give you quite a bit a Lee Winters Weird West goodness to read this weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More New Jonah Hex character posters and Trailer!

Ive been trying to keep up on the Jonah news of late and one of the things Ive noticed is that, despite the movie not looking all that great they are putting a LOT of work behind the promotional material.

Last week, 4 new character posters were released and they look top notch

And just this morning a newer, better film trailer was released. Im starting to warm up to the idea of this Jonah Hex not being the character from the comics and trying to let the movie speak for itself. Of course that isnt going to excuse a bad script....but we'll see about that.

Until then check out the new trailer, I think its a bit better....What do you think?