Monday, October 31, 2011

Tim Truman returns to the Weird West with Hawken!

Besides Joe Lansdale, the other comics creator that does Weird Western Comics really REALLY well is Tim Truman. Both him and Lansdale worked together on the DC Jonah Hex Vertigo Minis, they also did a great Lone Ranger Weird Western for Topps. Well Timothy Truman is on his own (with his son Ben) on a new Mini Series called Hawken coming out in November. Here is the Official (very long) Press release:

Continuing the assent to San Diego Comic-Con, IDW Publishing today announced HAWKEN, an all-new, six-issue comics series illustrated and co-created by comics legend Tim Truman, best known for his reinvention of Jonah Hex and Hawkman, as well as his groundbreaking work on Scout and Grimjack. HAWKEN will be scripted by Ben Truman, who co-developed the series with his father.

HAWKEN tells the story of aging gunman Kitchell Hawken and his bloody, one-man vendetta against the Tucson Ring, a brotherhood of arms merchants and corrupt politicians who once employed him.

“Hawken has been many things in his day,” said Tim Truman. “Scout, tracker, scalp-hunter, raider, hired gun… But mostly, he’s been a nasty son-of-a-bitch.”

In each issue, the team will reveal new pieces of the character’s past. “Suffice it to say that after a lifetime spent doing some very bad things, Hawken had one last shot at redemption. The Ring took it away. Just what a any good Western revenge epic needs. However, in HAWKEN, that’s where things get strange.”

Strange indeed. Hawken has unusual companions on his war trail: The ghosts of every person he's ever killed, cursed to assist the old man against their wills. “In many ways, it’s not the ghosts who haunt Hawken. It’s Hawken who haunts them. They try to trip him up at every turn.”

Renowned for depicting hard-scrabble, violent heroes, Tim admits that the new book ups the ante. “Folks would be hard pressed to find a character as ruthless and pissed-off as Kit Hawken. He has good reasons for his rampage, and believe me, a rampage it is. For once, the bad men have truly messed with the wrong guy.”

Scripter Ben Truman, who also works as an educator in Tucson, described the project starting almost by accident. “My parents were visiting here in Arizona, and while driving through Sunset Crater Park I asked Dad if he’s ever seen any accounts where a man had survived a scalping. Somehow, that kicked it off. Hawken grew from the landscapes of each new place we visited: His name in Flagstaff, his past in Bisbee, the curse in Tempe, his vendetta in Tombstone. By the time we left San Xavier Mission, the first issue was plotted. A year later, we signed a contract with IDW. We all hope this story will grab people like it did us.

“HAWKEN takes people to unexplored corners of the Wild West, paying homage to spaghetti westerns and the like.” Along the way, the creative team grabs familiar Old West themes by the throat and twists them inside out.

“When I first heard about this project, I jumped at the chance to work with an industry legend,” says editor Denton J. Tipton. “Tim continues to produce at the highest level, and working with Ben has pushed him even harder to exceed expectations. And they surely don’t disappoint with HAWKEN.”

HAWKEN #1 (of 6, $3.99, 32 pages, duo-tone) will be available in stores in November 2011.

Sounds great! Also, here is an INTERVIEW Truman did in July with a few preview pages as well....Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

9-Page Preview of Helldorado!

What is Helldorado you ask?

Gunfights! Kung fu! Monsters! If Hammer Films had hired a band of Hong Kong filmmakers to create a Spaghetti Western, they’d have created HELLDORADO! An unspeakable act of violence has altered reality itself, and a supernatural evil looms over the town of El Dorado. The most horrific myths of the Far East threaten to engulf the American West in darkness, and the only thing standing between a vengeful Chinese vampire, its army of undead minions, and the end of humankind is an unlikely band of erstwhile heroes: an heiress, a gambler, an aging sheriff, his deputy, and a warrior priest. Horror, fantasy, kung fu, and Western action combine in this bizarre genre mash-up!

Whats interesting about this description is that Hammer actually DID do a mash-up film. It was a co-production with The Shaw Brothers, a Kung Fu Vampire film called THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES. It isn't a Weird Western but it IS a fun cheesy Kung Fu Vampire movie.....and Ive always considered Kung Fu films to be the Western genre of China (Just like the Samurai film is the Western genre of Japan)

But what about Helldorado? Well check it out HERE and see for yourself! It was written by C. Michael Hall with art by Martin Coccolo. No release date yet (that I can find) but Ill let you know as soon as I do.


Friday, August 26, 2011

DEADLANDS One-Shot Comics!

So one of the bigger Weird West properties out there, that I haven't talked about yet (mostly because I don't know anything about it) has been Deadlands. From what I can gather, its the granddaddy of Weird Western RPGs. The term "Weird West" was even coined by them. I'm certain there has been a select group of people who have come to the Emporium expecting it to be a Deadlands site....but alas, I'm sorry to disappoint. I do hope they have found other things here to scratch their Weird West itch however!

Recently though, Deadlands has ventured into Comics. Before they had a series of Anthology Books called the Trilogy with No Name, that you can read about HERE.

Now, they have a growing series of One-Shot Comics. The First of them being The Devils Six Gun by David Gallaher & Steve Ellis:

In classic Faustian tradition, a weapons maker comes to America to pursue the American dream in the former colonies. Instead, he becomes immersed in plots and manipulations to gain unearthly power though the supernatural Ghost Rock. His goal? To make a gun that can kill anything, including the powerful Hellstromme! Its a journey that will cost him everything he loves, including his soul!

That sounds pretty darn cool! I would be tempted to run out and get this, but the whole series might be collected soon after the last one is published, so I can wait...maybe.

Next Up was Massacre at Red Wing by the writers of DC Comic's excellent Jonah Hex series Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray & Lee Moder:

Clementime is a young woman, a shaman, with a tragic past and a mysterious destiny. She's on a quest to learn the truth of her family and to seek vengeance against the man who ruined her life...her father. A tale of mysticism and mayhem by the writing team of Jonah Hex.

Last week, the next book came out Death was Silent:

A silent bounty hunter rides into a remote town, but the town holds dark secrets that may turn the hunter into the hunted.

And last on the list (At least as far as I know) is a book by the excellent Steve Niles and Francesco Francavilla called Hopeless Roads:

Masters of the macabre and noire, Steve Niles and Francesco Francavilla tell a frightening tale of a family who must struggle against overwhelming odds in the barren Deadlands of the Old West!

If I get a chance, Ill try and pick up Death was Silent and give you guys a report...until then however, you can see art from of the released books at the links above. As I learn more about about Deadlands Ill do more posts about it. Like Joe R. Lansdale, no respectable Weird West site is complete without SOMETHING involving Deadlands. Of course Deadlands is Hardly the only Weird West RPG out there.

There is also Stuart Robertson's RPG Weird West, and it's quite easy to pick up and play from what Ive heard. Ive been meaning to report on this, and will soon, but until then you can read about it HERE.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ghoultown - Drink With the Living Dead!

Weird West band Ghoultown has a new video out for their song Drink with the Living Dead!

Also, If you are interested in some of their other music, they have a Youtube channel that you can visit HERE.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Cowboys and Aliens Interviews!

The Huffington Post has published a ton of video interviews that Jon Favreau did with different members of the cast and crew of Cowboys and Aliens. I love Jon Favreau, he seems like a really genuine guy, AND he's an accomplished interviewer. One of my favorite shows from the early 2000s was Dinner for Five where him and 4 other people (of various background) would site around and talk about whatever. Infinitely fascinating.

For these new interviews, which I guess have been dubbed The Cowboys and Aliens Interviews, Favreau interviews various people involved with the film...Including Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Writer Damon Lindelof, and Producers Kurtzman and Orci. The only ones missing are Daniel Craig (who is Sweden filming The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Sam Rockwell. Everyone comes off as funny and genuine, especially Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Lindelof and of course Spielberg and Howard....Brain Grazer doesn't say much so I can't really gauge him, he mostly just sits around and looking crazy.

There is a lot of content to get through but its funny and fascinating and you probably won't notice the length. To get you started here is the first part of the Harrison Ford can see the rest HERE at their official Youtube channel, or at the Huffington Post link above....Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Civil War, Zombie style!

Yeah, I know.

Once again, our friend and frequent visitor to the Emporium Shonokin has given me the heads up on a new Zombie Civil War movie called Exit Humanity. I watched the trailer and it looks pretty good, Ill judge it fully when I see it. I certainly LOOKS independent, but the thing that struck me was the caliber of talent this film has attracted. Bill Mosley? Stephen McHattie?? Dee Wallace??? BRIAN COX???? Clearly this film has SOME money behind it....but really, it doesn't matter what a film looks like, its the quality of the story that matters.

I certainly like the Poster!

Exit Humanity is a story told through the written and illustrated journal of Edward Young as he battles his way through an unexplainable outbreak of the walking dead a decade after the American Civil War. After returning home from a hunting trip to find a horrific re-animation of his wife Julia, and that their son Adam has disappeared, Edward starts to record his experiences with the walking dead as well as the unexplainable outbreak that has torn his family apart, and threatens all of mankind. Throughout his harrowing journey Edward finds friendship, guidance and love amongst chaos and despair, when all else seems to be lost in a world robbed of its humanity.

If you want to read more about the film you can go to their OFFICIAL WEBSITE and it has some behind the scenes stuff.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

John Carter Teaser Trailer!

Disney just released the teaser trailer for the new adaptation of John Carter of Mars...Is it Weird West? I'm not sure yet..but it does take place during the Civil War (Unlike that OTHER John Carter movie). Is it Steampunk? Absolutely!

I'll keep an eye out for more info on this and Ill let you guys know.

Until then, you can read up on John Carter at the Teaser Site Disney has put up. It has a gallery, synopsis, and a teaser trailer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Cowboys and Aliens Stuff!

The new international poster for Cowboys and Aliens was just released, as well as a quick behind the scenes video. I just found the video yesterday. I was hoping for more, it shows mostly footage from the trailers, but it has some behind the scenes stuff with them filming along with talking head interviews.

There is something I have to disagree with Steven Spielberg on, the original Graphic Novel wasn't very good. Any longtime reader of the Emporium should know that I hated the original graphic novel this is based on. It was incredibly derivative of generic action movie writing. However, the movie looks to be nothing like it, AND the idea is solid...sort of Independence Day meets The Valley of Gwangi, so I'm very excited! Please-be-good-Please-be-good-Please-be-good!

Monday, June 20, 2011

How the West was Weird by Ian Rogers!

The Emporium has a new guest columnist, Ian Rogers! He's the writer of a new Weird Western novella called Deadstock, and he'll be popping in every once in a while to comment on all things Weird Western. Whats his book about? Ill let him explain that himself:

For me, Westerns have always been weird.

As a kid, I never understood why people liked them. I didn't play cowboys and Indians. I never had a cowboy hat or one of those plastic six-shooters that fired caps. I always thought the Lone Ranger was a bit of a wimp, and I figured anyone who couldn't tell who he was behind that dinky little mask must be spending too much time under that hot desert sun. Maybe it's a generational thing. Most of the kids I knew didn't play cowboys and Indians, either. We played Star Wars.

Despite that, there was still a Western influence in my house. There were plenty of Louis L'Amour novels on our bookshelves, and I have memories of my father watching movies on TV starring Clint Eastwood and some guy he called "Duke." I always left the room when they were on.

It wasn't until I was a bit older and I happened to catch High Plains Drifter on late-night TV that I became a fan of Westerns.

In the film, a stranger (played by Clint Eastwood, who also directed the film) is hired by the people of Lago to defend them against a group of outlaws. Typical Western fare, I thought. But as I watched, the film got progressively darker and more unsettling, culminating in the stranger actually painting the town red to convince the outlaws they were riding into hell itself. The finale, with its unexpected touch of the supernatural, won me over completely.

It's no coincidence that it was this film that made me a fan of Westerns at the same time it introduced me to a genre, or sub-genre if you like, that I never even knew existed: the Weird Western.

High Plains Drifter was released in 1973, but it wasn't the first Weird Western. A year earlier, Jonah Hex made his debut in the DC comics series All-Star Western, and back in the 1960s, there was the TV series The Wild Wild West. There was even a spate of cowboys-and-dinosaurs films including The Beast of Hollow Mountain and The Valley of Gwangi. It's clear the Weird Western has been with us for a very long time.

Two of my favourite Weird Western films are Near Dark and From Dusk Till Dawn. These ones in particular proved to me that Weird Westerns can be more than just cowboys & aliens (not to knock that particular film, which looks like it's going to be great), or cowboys & Indian curses, or cowboys & zombies, and so on. Perhaps not coincidentally, Near Dark and From Dusk Till Dawn feature vampires — and not the kind that sparkle — and while both films take place in the present day, they feature bleak, isolated settings that almost make it seem as if they were set in the days of the Wild West.

As for Weird Western books, for my money you can't do any better than Joe R. Lansdale. In addition to writing Jonah Hex comics, Lansdale has written a number of Weird Western tales featuring the monster-hunting Reverend Jebidiah Mercer. All of these stories were recently collected in a must-have book for any Weird Western fan called Deadman's Road. And of course, it goes without saying that if you haven't read Stephen King's seven-volume Dark Tower series, then you're missing out on one the greatest Weird Western epics ever written.

When I first started publishing stories in magazines and anthologies, I thought it might be fun to try my hand at a Western. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of venues around these days looking for Western fiction. In fact, the one market that ended up buying the one Western I've sold to date (a short story called "Buffalo Money") ended up going out of business before the first issue came out. I ended up selling that story again, to an online magazine, but it became clear to me that if I was going to write any more Westerns in the future, I'd better make them Weird.

It wasn't too hard — at least not for me. Maybe it's because Westerns and horror stories actually have a lot in common. They both deal with the exploration of the unknown — horror by way of humankind's encounters with the supernatural, Westerns through the exploration and settlement of the West. It almost makes sense that these two seemingly disparate genres should come together to create a new type of story.

Stonebunny Press recently published my first foray into the Weird West, a novelette called "Deadstock."

No one knows who or what is killing the cattle at Groom ranch, but Sam Dryden, with his supernatural greenwood gun, and Raisy, with her ‘deck’ of knives, are determined to find out. What they discover is more horrifying than either of them ever dreamed, and the secret may be one that takes them to the grave.

While most writers tend to mix horror with their Westerns, I thought I'd go one step further and throw in some science fiction elements as well. I'm not the first person to do this, but I like to think I added my own special twist to the Weird Western. If readers end up enjoying "Deadstock," I may write some more stories about Dryden and Raisy.

The Weird Western fan base may not be as huge as some of the others out there, but they're strong and loyal and they've been around a long time. Weird Westerns have made it onto best-sellers lists, they've broken box-office records, and with the upcoming release of films like Cowboys & Aliens and the reboot of the TV series The Wild Wild West, it's clear that the Weird Western will always be around.

You can find Deadstock HERE and they have a Facebook page HERE. For more Ian Rogers himself, his Personal Site has everything you need to know!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Western Steampunk lives in Nickel Children!

The first scene in Kevin Eslinger's short film Nickle Children is like something out of the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. A family meal is interrupted by the arrival of a sinister character we come to know as the Sheriff, played by Jeremy Snowden. After sitting down and helping himself to the family's food, an act of violence ends with a boy, Jack (Easton Lee McCuiston), being stolen away into the night. Unfortunately the scene wants to be stronger than it winds up being. Tarantino tried the same homage to Leone in the opening scene of Inglourious Basterds and came up equally short. It doesn't reflect the quality of the films, its just that Leone is a hard act to can you top something that has already achieved its apogee?

Made on a shoe string budget, Nickle Children is quite good, despite its opening scene. Clocking in at about 16 minutes, the film follows Jack as he tries to survive, and eventually escape a child slavery and prostitution ring with the help of an Airship Captain and her companion. Its a very serious subject matter with some genuinely heartbreaking scenes. While the kidnapped girls are being forced into prostitution, the boys are forced to fight in bloody cage matches while the adults bet on the outcome.

Nickel Children takes place in (or near) Dust Bowl, Kansas in 1885. The Union Army has lost the Civil War and its now the Confederate States of America; however very little information is given to specifics for the film. What IS know, however, is that this is an American West populated by Steam Powered gadgets, flying machines, and Flesh Golems.....and its from this world that we meet Anastasia, the presumed heroine of the film. We first glimpse her at the cage fights the boys are having. She pops up every once in a while, helping Jack by giving him tools to escape the chicken wire cages him and the other children are trapped in, and its her who takes on the Flesh Golem and the Sheriff's men in arguably my favorite scene in the movie.

In fact all of the principle actors did a very good job in their roles with Amanda Bailey as the standout performance. She makes Anastasia into a dynamic, ass kicking Steampunk heroine.

For an independently financed film, Nickle Children actually uses its money wisely. The set design, while sparse, is effective in conveying its back alley setting. An appropriately dirty basement is a perfect place for the cages the kids are locked up in. Most of the money looks like it went towards the Sheriffs lushly decorated quarters with its fabric'd walls and statuary; There is a giant clock imbedded into one of the walls. Pictures of the characters and sets can be found HERE, and you'll see what I mean about the clock!

In fact besides characters and sets, the costume designs are very well done with Anastasia, her companion Dr. Montague, and a character called The Ringmaster's costumes being particular standouts. The rest of the cast of background players is filled out with members of the local Steampunk community in Atlanta and Nashville, where the film was shot. Steampunks can always be counted on to deliver, and they don't disappoint.

Eslinger is hoping to eventually turn the film into a Web series or feature film. Until then, however, he's focusing on other mediums like comics to tell the story of Anastasia, Jack, Dr. Montague and the Airship Zephyr. I hope he succeeds, I found myself really enjoying the main characters in the film and, as they walked away into the distance in the final scene, I found myself wondering where it went from here.

Until then however, the DVD is coming out soon, you can keep an eye out for it at the films official SITE. They also have a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel

Also, Paul Green over at the Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns site just did a really good interview with Kevin Eslinger and did a review himself.

Here's the extended Sizzle reel to give you a better idea of how the whole thing comes together:

I agree with Paul's assessment. When Weird Westerns tend to be so consumed with the walking dead, its refreshing to see a film that takes the genre into a different direction.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Gunstringer!

I wasn't sure about this game when I first saw it. Its for the XBox and it uses Xbox's Kinect controller which uses laser sensors from a box on top of your TV to move things on the screen. Its basically meant to get you off your butt and moving around, maybe even getting some exercise! I don't have a Kinect controller but after looking deeper into this game, I'm liking what I'm seeing.

The Gunstringer is basically a puppet show. You are playing the "role" of a puppeteer controlling a marionette named The Gunstringer. The Gunstringer is a skeletal Day of the Dead-esque gunfighter who has returned from the grave to take revenge on his old gang who shot him the back.

Not only is the character of Gunstringer really well designed, but his old gang is FULL of interesting and strange characters....from an Oil baron made of metal to a giant Wavy Tube Man, and others. Twisted Pixel, the company that made the game, have opened a Developers Site and they have posted some of the character designs, with more to come I imagine.

You can watch the Trailer HERE but what really got my attention is the 15 minutes of gameplay footage I posted below where you actually get to see the game in action. The graphics are beautiful, the designs are fun and if this was a controller based game Id probably get it...but unfortunately it won't make me buy a Kinect.

My only complaint is that, since you are supposed to be performing in a puppet show, the periodically cut back to the audience watching your show, it takes me out of the story a bit...but at the same time it completely supports the game's premise so I can't be too upset.

The Gunstringer is supposed to be released sometime later this year, so keep a look out! Until then, however, enjoy the video:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fighting Zombies on Revelation Trail!

If you have seen the trailer for that new video game coming out called Dead Island, you'll see what it is I like best about zombie movies. It isn't a Western in any way, its a game is about a zombie outbreak on an island resort. The trailer focuses on one family and this outbreak basically takes what was supposed to be a fun holiday getaway into Nightmare ending with the untimely death of everyone in the family. Its a very sad trailer, and it really hit home the power that a zombie movie can have if done correctly. The best Zombie stories are about loss and change and things never being the same. Your wife or daughter could die and worse, come back as a flesh eating creature that tries to kill you.

You can watch the trailer HERE, but be warned, its REALLY sad...

Well there is a new independent production coming out called Revelation Trail that seems to be very much about that same idea. This is their premise from the film's official website: is the collaborative effort of filmmakers, artists and web talent from around the country, each contributing their own experiences and strengths to tell the story of the undead rising in late 19th century America.

There is death. There is blood. There is action. But most importantly, there is a glimpse at the human condition with each of our characters in Revelation Trail. Sometimes, it takes just the undead to remind us what it means to be alive.

And then I saw this, a scene from the film, and I think I'm starting to get what they are trying to do:

They haven't said when the film will come out but they are supposed to be filming it this summer. If you want to keep an eye out for it they have an Official Website HERE that has videos and other stuff, a Youtube page HERE (where they have a series of shorts called Lillith's Story that serves as a sort of prequel to the main film) , and a Facebook page HERE.

Yes,its another Zombie Western, and I know Ive complained about the sheer amount of them in the past, but as long as the stories are good they should be worth how can anyone complain about the release of a new Weird Western? Of course there have been enough bad ones in past to be a little overly cautious, but here is their long Sizzle reel for a better look at the film. Its way more action oriented and probably shows what the film will be like when its not pondering serious Zombie Apocalypse issues. Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Does anything need to be said??! New Cowboys and Aliens Trailer!

.....and its a good one. The first trailer was pretty darn good, this one kicks it out of the park! It really gets into the story more and some of the new footage they show is equal parts VERY cool, and a little unsettling (like what looks like some of the Towns folk hanging from alien crafted wires in some hidden location, creeepy). Also, as if the big budget Weird West-ness of it wasn't enough, it also has Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, and Clancy Brown.....I mean Come ON! I can not wait for this film!

I really hope it does well so that the studios see that Weird Western ARE a viable genre to be explored and not just the fare of the passionate but (a lot of the time) either underfunded or under-talented lot. I guess we'll find out.

The official synopsis: Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens. Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers—Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci—he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world.

1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trails of Tarnation!

Once again Emporium reader Shonokin has given me the heads up on a very cool new nugget of Weird Western gold. Its a webseries called Trails of Tarnation.

TRAILS OF TARNATION is a twelve-part serial western following the exploits of Derek and Jeff, two cowboys on the run from the corrupt Sheriff Maynard Lumbar.

Full of cheesy sets, bad dubbing, subversive humor, and a look that makes it feel like a bad 60s or 70s Sunday morning TV program, Trails of Tarnation is all kinds of awesome.

The show was created by Nicholas Gurewitch who used to do a Webcomic series called Perry Bible Fellowship. I've been hearing a lot of PBF recently but unfortunately the series has ended and the only way to read the comics is by search engine, but you most definitely should!

They have a Facebook Page thats full of behind the scenes pictures, a podcast link, and an interview about the show.

Heres the first episode, and then afterwards you shuld go to their website and give them some love, it looks like this show is going to be pretty incredible!

Black Coffee: Trails of Tarnation - Chapter 1 from New Picture Agencies on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2 Years of the Weird West Emporium!

2 Years ago today I started this website! You know how people say that they can't believe so much time has passed in regards to something? Well that is absolutely true here, I cant believe its been two years. Seriously.

Originally this site had been a personal blog, except I only had one post (About my friend breaking her collar bone in Roller Derby) that I had done about a year previously...and then it just sat and, as blogs sometimes tend to do, it didn't go anywhere.

Then one day I was scouring the internet for a good website about The Weird West. I came across at least one, Steampunk Central which I had been to before. It was from Steampunk Central that I had first heard of the Legend TV series. At the time I re-found it however, the site was closed down, shuttered up, just a bunch of broken links.

Everything else I found online were either pictures, or reviews of Weird West/Western Steampunk media. A few of the movies on these lists got me on the road to the Weird West. Movies like Billy the Kid vs. Dracula and The Valley of Gwangi were some of my first exposure to the genre:

...and of course Wild Wild West:

....but those lists weren't what I was looking for. I was looking for something more comprehensive. Something like Paul Green's Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns except online. So I decided to start the website on my own.

I just reached 50 followers! I wanted to thank each and every one of you for finding my little website interesting enough to bookmark and revisit on occasion. I know the Emporium has been a little quiet lately, unfortunately real life tends to get in the way sometimes, but I'm not going anywhere and the Emporium isn't closing anytime soon (You'll be the first to know if it ever does). Expect some new posts soon. There will be one tomorrow and then maybe one or two next week, but Ill try to keep the posting on my normal non-semi-regular schedule.

Until then however here's to many more years of Weird West Emporium goodness, and Yippee ki-yay, Mamma Jamma!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Buntline Special and Rango reviews!

While I haven't gotten around to reading Mike Resnick's The Buntline Special, one of the Emporium's readers, Penelopecat, has and unfortunately, according to her, It isn't all that good. The basic problems seem to be the lack of tension in the story and the lack of intriguing characters. Also people tend to get out of situations FAR to easily. It sounds like it lacks focus and even that Resnick doesn't exactly know what Western Steampunk is, or he does but doesn't know how to write it well.

Ashe Armstrong may also be reviewing The Buntline Special when he is able so stay tuned for that, but until then here is Penelopecat's Blogger Page Sinister Urge to read her review.

Its too bad you can judge a book by it's cover, because if you could The Buntline Special would be GREAT...but alas....

There has also been some early reviews of the new animated film Rango. I'm still on the fence on whether its a Weird Western, and Ive heard on both sides for and against. Some reviews have stated that the main bad guy, a rattlesnake character named Rattlesnake Jake has a mechanical pistol on his tail in place of a rattle. Also I was informed by "Anonymous" that:

There are a lot of weird things in Rango, and yes, that includes science fiction references (spot the Star Trek one if you can...) and supernatural elements. Can't say no more, but I figure you guys won't be disappointed...

"Anonymous" says that THIS review at Aint it Cool is very accurate to the film. It is from someone who saw an early screening in Phoenix. There is also a fairly spoiler filled review over at if you don't mind that sort of stuff.

Regardless, it looks like its going to be a fun film, and Ill do a review after it comes out. Until then however, check out these quick videos about the recording process Gore Verbinski had the actors go through for Rango. Its actually quite entertaining. I wouldn't mind seeing the live action footage cut together as an extra on the DVD!

Rango opens on March 4th

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Backwater Gospel...WOW!

This film was brought to my attention by one of the Emporium's readers Shonokin, and then later on Facebook by Mr. Gris Grimly. It is called The Backwater Gospel and, my goodness, its REALLY good!

The official synopsis from their website is this:

A drought ridden, dead beat society, isolated in the dust storm plagued parts of 1930's rural America, is paid a visit by the undertaker, an event that always has foretold the immediate coming of death. The Sunday sermon is well on the way, firmly led by the brimstone preaching town minister.

The tramp in the town, the only person not in church, spots the undertaker at a distance and interrupts the sermon to tell the news. A cold draught passes through the church and in desperation the congregation leaves, much to the displeasure of the minister.

At home behind locked doors and barred windows the townsfolk await death, pinned to the floor by fear and anxiety.

But death never comes...

Its true that this film takes place in the 1930's but it is absolutely a Western. From the stark landscapes to the rickety shanty town buildings, the only thing that betrays its time period is the broken down automobile that one of the character uses for shelter. This is Western through and through. and a good one.

The animation style is really strange. It looks somewhat stop motion-like, but more often looks likes CGI. The character's skins are cracked and stained, the preacher's lips are thick and almost look like wood with his deeply lined face. One character even seems to have a wooden nose.

And the story is top notch. As the threat of the Undertaker's arrival looms, the deeply religious town is thrown into the grip of hysteria and things go bad....really REALLY bad.

Their official website states that The Backwater Gospel is the bachelor projects of eight students at The Animation Workshop. It's an animated short about a small, isolated community in the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, a minister hell-bent on ruling his flock and an undertaker who always precedes death.

You can also see a plethera of character designs, animation tests, and concept sketches at their SITE. I wouldn't have guessed that this was a bachelor project, everything from the voice work to the animation and design is incredibly professional.

This film deserves 5 out of 5 Bloody Spurs. Fantastic job all around!

The Backwater Gospel from The Animation Workshop on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I LOVE Mike Mignola. He has an amazing way of making the things in his comics, and cool in a "First time you read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and wanted a Nautilus of your own"-type of cool). When I first read Hellboy I wasn't expecting the dive into mythology, Cryptozoology, and the Occult that the stories took, but was extremely pleased when they did. Amazing Screw-on head is a high point of Steampunk in comics, with equal parts horror, adventure, a little Romance, with a very generous helping of surreal mixed into the pot...everything that makes Steampunk great.

Alas, I haven't read The Witchfinder yet. Not the mini series showcased here, the one that came before it, Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels:

Mike Mignola teams up with artist Ben Stenbeck (B.P.R.D.: The Ectoplasmic Man) for a look into one of the Hellboy universe's greatest enigmas: nineteenth-century occult investigator Edward Grey! In one of Grey's first cases as an agent of the queen, he goes from the sparkling echelons of Victorian London to its dark underbelly, facing occult conspiracies, a rampaging monster, and the city's most infamous secret society: the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra.

It sounded cool, but it isn't a Weird Western. However if Mike Mignola had had his hands on it, it was bound to be good. Then I head about the sequel, and my head went through the roof. Edward Grey follows the Heliopic Brotherhood to the Old West!

In the hellish frontiers of the American Wild West, nineteenth--century occult investigator Edward Grey hunts down a fiendish member of the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra. What he finds is a town harboring bloodthirsty criminals and terrible supernatural horrors!

Wow, that sounds REALLY cool, I'm sold. Mignola doing an Old West occult story with a kick ass British Occult Investigator? Sounds amazing.

Mike Mignola and John Acula did the story, while the great John Severin did the artwork (with Mignola doing the some of the covers) It was released this past Wednesday (February 2nd) and its costs $2.99

Also, CBR: The Comic Book Resource site has posted a 6 page preview which you can see HERE.

As soon as I'm able to get my hands on a copy, Ill give you guys a review!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cool New Cowboys and Aliens Super Bowl Spot!

Now, I'm not much of a Super Bowl/Football/sports watcher, but if anything got me excited for the big game it was the promise of some cool new trailers. Most importantly, (among others) Cowboys and Aliens!

Its basically a 30 sec television spot, with only a few new shots (like Daniel Craig jumping onto the wing of an aliens spacecraft, which reminds me of The Valley of Gwangi for some reason), but it still looks great. If you didn't check out the big game, here is the trailer in all its glory. You can also check out the official Website HERE if you haven't already.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter Review!

Ashe Armstrong returns with a review of Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter!

Greetings once again, Emporium readers. It's Ashe and I'm back with another review. A solo read this time around. I bought and promptly devoured Edward Erdelac's Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter. And since Mark's a busy guy, I offered to once again lend a hand with a review. That being said, shall we?

If you're not already familiar with the book, well, you could scroll down to Mark's Christmas post but I'll save you the trouble. Merkabah Rider is about a Jewish man from a mystic order who can travel the planes of existence. That's all I'll say as far as details of the story goes because, quite honestly, finding out the details of the order and the things that take place as you read them is just plain fun. The book is made up of four stories which each take place in a different locale as our protagonist, The Rider, travels the southwestern portion of the US.

The first story is a right proper hook, believe me (they all are, really though). The Rider wanders into a dirty little town that's showing some rather angry teeth towards anyone of the Jewish persuasion. We find out why. In the adjacent area is a place called “Little Jerusalem.” In this place, children have started to go missing. The Rider aims to find out why.

Now, as I said, this first one is a good hook because it gives you a taste of everything these stories are about. The Rider is established as a driven man with a steel core but very unusual. And without giving too much away, we're very quickly shown just how unusual he really is. I really don't want to show much more because I enjoyed myself so much seeing what was happening in this fantastic setting.

The second story is set in Mexico in a sleepy desert town. As if that weren't western enough, here comes the weird: a voodoo man and a strange sandstorm. The third story of the Rider's travels involves an unstoppable gunman, a Christian preacher and a mountain town. And rounding things out is a fantastic end cap that shows just how human the Rider really is, even in his dealings with demons and greedy bandits. It also sets up perfectly for the sequel, The Mensch With No Name.

Erdelac's writing reminds me of Robert E. Howard's. Quite a compliment, by my standards. It's fluid, it gives good description and the pace when the action picks up keeps you reading. His phrasings are a bit more modern than Howard's, not that that's a bad thing. There's a smattering of Lovecraft in there and in fact, if you're like me and love Howard's and Lovecraft's stories, you will utterly adore this book. Fans of Lovecraft will get as excited as I did, I think. Erdelac's knowledge of Jewish mysticism and mythology is utterly fantastic as well and he weaves in Jewish words wonderfully. They are a bit jarring at first if you're unfamiliar with their pronunciations or meanings but the latter part is remedied with an included glossary in the back.

Mr. Erdelac has done a phenomenal job here and give us all not just a genuinely amazing weird west story, but a great story period. He makes beautiful use of the religious aspects used. The use of mythology and religion reminded me a bit of Mike Mignola's writing for Hellboy too. And I know I've left some of the story details pretty bare here (and I'm aware that you can find a bit more details around the Emporium of the Amazon page) but I wanted to make it clear how fun these stories are. I don't want to ruin any details ahead of time. The surprises are fantastic and you will absolutely be hooked.

My only real complaint about the book is the actual physical book itself. It's a little small in the width so you have to pull it open a little wider sometimes to read the words that are near the spine. It's minor but another six of an inch would've helped this problem. Still, it's an independent company so it's totally understandable. I'm sure that Mr. Erdelac, like I would no doubt feel, was thrilled to get the book published.

So, to sum up, it's weird, it's western, it's fun, it's exciting, it's dark, it's amazing. Buy it, devour it, enjoy it, thank me later. And do Mr. Erdelac a favor and just buy both books because trust me when I say, you're going to want them both.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

...Keep Them Oranges Rollin'!

Does anyone remember, in the 80s, a breakfast cereal called OJs? It sounds strange I know, It was cereal that was suppose to taste like Orange Juice. I've been reading articles around the Aetherweb about it and everyone pretty much agrees, OJs were gross.

Or, rather, they sounded gross...but I disagree!

I remembered them and they weren't gross, that were really tasty. What seems to be the major problem people had with them, the Orange Juice flavor, didn't taste like Orange Juice at all; at least not REAL Orange Juice. Imagine Orange flavored Froot Loops, or a flavor that belonged in the Froot Loops pantheon and you're on a right track. They weren't gross they were fruity and delicious!

But my favorite part of the cereal wasn't the cereal itself, but that strange Cowboy on the box cover, OJ Joe, who rolled around the West on an Orange, spurs stuck in, cattle driving more oranges. The image was strange. I didn't get it at the time but it was almost Pecos Bill-like in its weirdness. Bill capturing a Texas Twister and riding it until it dissipates feels way more grand than cattle driving a bunch of oranges, but I'm sure you can see the similarities.

...and seriously, who wouldn't want an "OJ"s" branding iron!

Regardless OJ's failed. Perhaps it was for the best, a few years later OJ Simpson's name would have probably put the cereal into an early retirement anyway.

But for some silly Weird Western breakfast cereal goodness, check out the commercial below and just remember, OJs weren't gross!

(sorry for the crappy transfer, this was the only version of the whole commercial I could find)