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October 5, 2010


Review: Reed Gunther #1

Posted by on Oct 5, 2010
Reed Gunther and the Steak Snacking Snake!

Cowboys and monsters and bears!  Oh, my!  Shane and Chris Houghton’s creator owned, independently published Reed Gunther just popped up on my radar, and now I’m putting it on yours.  Hit the jump so I can convince you to start reading this.  Like, now.  Not that words should even be required, just look at that cover!

The first issue introduces us to Reed, self proclaimed “sort of a ‘problem solving’ kind of guy” and his trusty steed/best friend, Sterling, who also happens to be a bear.  They stumble (read trespass) upon the ranch of the beautiful and feisty potential love interest, Starla, and offer to help with her somewhat..unique…problem.  And, honestly, that’s all you need to know.  If the premise of a cowboy and his bear fighting giant snakes and totemic cave monsters doesn’t appeal to you, you don’t know what fun is and you’re in the wrong place.

The tone of the book calls to mind Raiders and the more humorous moments of Firefly, the interactions between Reed and Sterling are reminiscent of those between Han Solo and Chewbacca, and, if they ever made a Reed Gunther movie, I couldn’t see anyone playing Starla other than Karen Allen circa 1981 (but that might just be because I have a huge crush on Karen Allen circa 1981).  If you enjoy The Goon, Atomic Robo, or The Crogan Adventures, this isn’t just up your alley, it’s already been camping there (unbeknownst to you) for months.  I’m not in any way implying a lack of originality by comparing Reed Gunther to these other franchises, I’m just trying to tell you how good it is.  In fact, Shane and Chris Houghton (no relation) (just kidding they’re brothers) have created one of the most fun and unique comics I’ve read in a long time.

After the one, two punch of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns in 1986, all of us here at NNAR have grown up with comics where anti-heroism and bleakness are the rule, not the exception.  And, while I enjoy those books as much as the next guy (especially if that guy is Third), it’s great to read a book that unabashedly knows how to have a good time.  Did I mention that the first and second issues are available online for free?  You now have absolutely no excuse not to enjoy the awesomeness that is Reed Gunther.

  • Matt Barbot

    I kept looking for the irony. And here’s the thing: it’s not there. And that’s refreshing. It is exactly as happy-go-lucky and pulpy as it seems to be. It’s just *fun.*

    • Chris

      Exactly. Reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes