Big Sky


I did this sketch quickly last night while watching a movie called THE HI-LO COUNTRY on the Independent Film Channel. I love IFC, because they’re constantly showing movies that I have never gotten a chance to see– or in the case of last night’s film, I’d never even known it existed. HI-LO is a western– but set in the WW II era. The stars of the film include Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup, Patricia Arquette, Penelope Cruz and Sam Elliot. I’m a huge fan of the western genre, and I was very excited when I stumbled across this film. I was at first kind of disappointed when I realized it was a relatively modern-day tale…. but the incidental props like cars and 40’s-era guns didn’t change the basic tenor of the film…… it was still a pure western. I suppose I like well-done westerns (movies, novels or comics, it doesn’t matter) because the fact that these tales are set against the stark, rugged landscape of the west and shines a spotlight on the physical, emotional and spiritual struggles of the players. THE HI-LO COUNTRY is suffused with the themes of friendship, love and loyalty juxtaposed against betrayal, jealousy and greed. The movie’s got a few flaws here and there… but the acting is genuine and the story was very compelling.

There’s an italian western comic called TEX that is enormously popular throughout Europe. It’s been published continuously for some 40-plus years since its creation. I think that Europeans are fascinated with the American west because of that very open, rugged, untamed landscape that is so much a part of our history and culture. It’s possible that the new spate of western comics that are popping up here in the States will do pretty well over there– in particular the new title LOVELESS from DC/Vertigo. It’s a very dark, hard edged and immensely violent look at the immediate aftermath of the end of the Civil War. The artwork is brilliantly done by Marcello Frusin. He’s been a favorite of mine since I first saw his work. He’s a former studio mate of Eduardo Risso, and his work has that same wonderful use of heavy black that Risso’s does– but Frusin’s drawing is much more naturalistic… less stylized. If you’re at all into the western genre, you should check it out.

Artwork from issue #3 of FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN is now up in my section on the MOTHCOMIX web site. Just follow the SALES links at the top of the page to see the items up for sale. And the double-page spread from the end of the issue with IRON MAN carrying Peter’s dead body is up on eBay now.

UDATE: Today Marvel released the solicitation copy and cover images for the March titles…. so I thought I’d post the cover image to FRIENDLY #6 here:


That it today.

This is Entry 172.


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