Monday, October 22, 2012

Microreview [Comics] - Cow Boy

The Meat

Boyd Linney is a ten year old bounty hunter who is traversing the wild west with only his horse for a companion and his trusty gun by his side.  After a rough childhood, he is determined to round up his entire family of outlaws and collect the ransom.

Cow Boy draws on nostalgic comics including Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.  The book remains light and fun despite numerous shootouts straight out of a spaghetti western.  Boyd is the emotional glue that holds this story together.  Flashbacks provide context to why he is driven to bring his family to justice and moments when he is alone at night with his horse we are reminded that he is only a child who has a lot on his plate to deal with.

Nate Cosby hooks you from the first chapter in which Boyd rounds up his own father to collect his first ransom.  The dialog between father and son first humanizes Boys and reveals the tragic hero that this young 10-year old is.  Cosby's ability to write emotionally charged scenes while keeping it light and entertaining for adults and children is remarkable. 

Through the artwork of Chris Eliopoulos, we are able to see the grit and determination this Cow Boy has.  Boyd's facial expressions are true to nature and reminded me of my own children if I imagined them in his boots.  Eliopoulos captures the over-dramatic nature of children, puts together fun shootouts, and constructs moments when you want to jump in the page and comfort Boyd with a big hug. 

Is this a Back to the Future Easter egg in Cow Boy?
This book is not only a book I love, but a book my son loves.  There are few better moments as a parent then you have your child excited about reading.  A book like Cow Boy, which delivers on both the graphic and story elements, is what I seek out as a father.  It is often the first comic I suggest to any parent looking to involve their children in this medium.  Not because it is a book that children will love, but it is one that parents will enjoy as well.

If you don't believe me you can try reading it yourself for free at  If you want to read more for free before buying this great book, then you can pick up their Hallow's Eve mini comic next Wednesday if your local comic book store is participating in Halloween Comic Fest.  Click here to find a participating location.

The Math

Objective Quality: 8/10

Bonuses: +1 for Boyd's gun, which looks like a child's stick horse.  +1 for the short stories between chapters

Penalties: -1 for the book ending too soon.  I would have loved a few more chapters of side stories mixed in

Comic Coefficient: 9/10 very high quality/standout in its category.

[See explanation of our non-inflated scores here.]