Review: Hellbillies #13
Written by: Bryan Boles & Jon Westhoff
Art: Bryan Boles
Colours: Timothy O’Briant & Brian Boles
Letters: Jon Westhoff
Publisher: King Bone Press
What if I told you, you could have a comic with a hotch-potch bunch of partly limbless hillbillies, a gaggle of blood-hungry ‘gators, a horny bigfootess, a rather pretty but equally deadly witch, not to mention the pair of glowing-eyed, undercover skeleton FBI agents, all about to play out one of the weirdest scenes I’ve had the pleasure of reading, would you have a go? I pity the person that misses out! King Bone Press, a fine purveyor of indie goodness, brings us issue #13 in this on-going series and it doesn’t disappoint in loading up the thrills.
It would be fair to say this isn’t a jumping on point in the series. This is my first taste and it did leave me scratching my head but I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the scratch. Amos Moses is a wanted man and amidst the law enforcement who are primed to capture their target, one-armed Amos has other intentions. After deciding to give the cops the slip, as well as his clothing, all manner of hell breaks loose as giant warthogs, a lady-bigfoot and an assortment of supernatural beings do battle to…I’m not sure what. In the midst of the madness, some family truths are revealed to the hillbilly family members gathered to join the melee. The results are at once hilarious and mind-boggling and the wring just keeps pumping the surprises out on every page. At times I was unsure of the ordering of the text boxes and the intent wasn’t clear but overall, that didn’t get in the way of a roller-coaster read.
Art-wise, the book has a bold and simplistic style with block colours making up much of the backgrounds, and characters depicted in a straight-forward and cartoony way. The focus isn’t so much on clean lines as a rough and ready to go feel. The pencilling is quite fat which also creates that diy, indie mood. Expect wide movement swooshes and onomatopoeic bangs and pings, especially when the bullets go flying. The arrival of the supernatural characters does take a little getting used to but were more than welcome in light of the madness of the plot. The colour palate is kept simple also, with dull hues centered around dark blues and violets, which creates a perfect backdrop for the other-worldly happenings. Interestingly, the whole book takes place in one location, a dockside by a ‘gator infested stretch of water, one where our hillbilly protagonist isn’t afraid to dive right in (probably why he’s short of a limb). This is probably testament to how skilled the creative team truly are – just try to imagine another comic book where every panel on every page takes place in a single setting, and without losing the interest of the reader. So, all-in-all, a welcome deviation from the all too familiar lure of the major publishers. Great fun, cool characters and bags of surprises.
Skully’s Corner: Why buy this book? Well, well, well. Looks like a hoedown happenin’ here. Why I may jus’ haf ta fetch ma shotgun an’ grab a jug a’shine…ok I’ll stop that now, but seriously, this little indie number’s a lotta fun and doesn’t quit till the very last panel. Pick it up for all sorts of mayhem. 6/10.
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Review written by Arun Sharma.
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