Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, originally a free web comic, just got the Archaia Entertainment hardcover treatment. Written by Nate Cosby and drawn/lettered/inked/colored and probably bound and collated by Chris Eliopoulos, A Boy and His Horse is the tale of a ten year old bounty hunter who is on a mission to wrangle up his entire family of outlaws. An all-ages book, Cow Boy combines a whimsical cartoon art style along with a gritty and powerful story. You might take a look at the cover and instantly think that this comic is beneath you. However, I challenge you to read this graphic novel, regardless of your age or maturity level, and not come away thinking that it is amazing.
Let me preface this preview by saying that I absolutely despise cowboys, country music, and Westerns rank as one of my least favorite genres of anything. So, when I had the opportunity to review a graphic novel with the title of Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, I did so reluctantly and went into it thinking I’d read three pages and then hate it. None of that happened. From the very first page, once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. It’s combination of art and story and character combined to create one of the best and most powerful stories that I’ve come across in comics in a long time. Spoiler alert: I loved this book.
Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse is the story of Boyd Linney, the toughest and most serious ten year old that you’ve ever met. Although only ten, and despite having been “raised” by a family of no-good, dirty, rotten outlaws, Boyd is armed with an unbreakable sense of right and wrong and a determination to bring every one of his law breaking relatives to justice. He rides through the Old West on a horse that ain’t his and rides into town after town equipped with a custom made “pea shooter” and fueled by a burning, white-hot desire to make things right in terms of his family and the law.
Nate Cosby, the writer of this comic, has accomplished what a lot of writers attempt to do with limited success; He’s created a true all-ages story that is actually capable of entertaining people of all ages. In the span of four relatively brief chapters, Cosby spins a tale that will stay with you for a long time and leave you walking away with a smile on your face and (maybe) a tear in your eye. Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse ends way before you’re ready for it, but still satisfies. Nate Cosby is a damn fine writer and this story is proof of that.
And now to talk about Chris Eliopoulos and his work on this comic. Wow. Even though he uses an art style that’s ripped right from the Sunday comics, Eliopoulos is able to achieve a level of emotional complexity within his art that I’ve rarely seen from most other comic artists. Ever. In panel after panel, page after page, Eliopoulos and his delivery is perfect. Additionally, like Nate Cosby’s story, the artwork is light enough to be approachable and enjoyable to someone of any age, but rich enough to deliver exactly the right sense of character, emotion, and action at exactly the right times. In Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, Chris Eliopoulos hits a home run.
Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse is an amazing graphic novel and one that I simply can’t recommend highly enough. It’s 96 pages of amazing and, with a cover price of $19.95, is absolutely worth the price of admission. I plan on buying four copies of this thing, one for each of my nephews and one for me. Take it from a 30 year old life-long hardcore comic geek who hates cowboys, you will love Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse.
Filed Under: Reviews