Art by: Chris Eliopoulos
Colours by: Chris Eliopoulos
Letters by: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover by: Chris Eliopoulos
Published by: Archaia
Cover Price: $19.95 (USD)
I don’t think I have ever been as surprised by a comic as I have been by Cow Boy. I essentially judged this Graphic Novel by its cover, which shows protagonist Boyd Linney, a young boy in a cowboy outfit, carrying a shotgun that looks like a hobby horse. I was expecting a fun and light hearted story. I sat down looking for some laughs and cute art work, but discovered something far more engaging and emotional than I ever anticipated.
I’m not saying that this book is without humour, or that it is unsuitable for kids or anything like that. I think this is a great comic for children to read and the sheer incongruity of a ten year old boy acting tough and rough and spitting out dialogue to match any old western hero brings about humorous moments.
But it is the revelation that Boyd is a bounty hunter who has been forced into a situation where he has to hunt down members of his own family that raises the level of storytelling and really makes this graphic novel more of tragedy than a comedy.
The emotional core of the story, combined with Eliopoulos’s artwork is what makes Cow Boy so special. Boyd is cute, he’s a ten year old bounty hunter and he struggles to climb up on to rocking chairs. But there is far more to Eliopoulos than cute. Just as Cosby adds complexity in his script, Eliopoulos’s art is also full of such skill and detail. Each page fits perfectly with the western setting and Eliopoulos’s incredibly expressive characters are just as likely to make one cry as laugh.
Because I was so surprised by Cow Boy I really don’t want to give too much away. Cow Boy is gripping and funny, but ultimately heart breaking and brilliant. Cosby and Eliopoulos show just what can be achieved with the form, a perfect example of the creativity that exists in the medium.