Yesterday I got quite a scare when Bleeding Cool initially reported that DC had announced the cancellation of All-Star Western. Luckily, series co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti took to Twitter and cleared things up, stating:
“ALL STAR WESTERN is not cancelled at 31…but we have to get the numbers up soon, as sales dictate what happens to a book. Always.”
Then today he stated:
“Just to squash the rumors from yesterday, All-Star Western has NOT been cancelled. Lower numbers but you can help support!!”
I’m a big fan of the Western genre and regret that this title, one that is consistently entertaining, interesting, and redefines what it means to be a Western, is on the verge of cancellation because of low sales numbers. Now, I’m not a man who’s fond of taking the gloomy outlook, especially with series I love, but I’ve been burned before. Still, my goal today is to convince fans to try out All-Star Western so it can keep surviving and filling the comic market with its awesome glory. Why should you support this comic? Check out my breakdown of reasons after the jump.
1. It’s one of a kind.
Western comics aren’t exactly nonexistent these days; just look at the awesome work on The Sixth Gun or East of West or Pretty Deadly for some examples of well-written modern Westerns in the comics medium. These series, however, all have one thing in common: they are stand-alone, creator owned pieces. All-Star Western, in contrast, is the only Western currently published by either of the Big Two and, furthermore, it is a key piece of the DC Universe. Though it happens in the past, events in the series are key to the present day DCU, and characters show up with lasting influence such as Amadeus Arkham, the founder of Arkham Asylum, and the dastardly immortal Vandal Savage who still poses a threat to modern heroes. Furthermore, even the Court of Owls makes an appearance, cementing their long-running influence on Gotham.
2. It’s a great read.
Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have written Jonah Hex and company for over a hundred issues at this point in some form or another. As a result, these two have deep ties to the characters which shows through the intriguing storylines they present. Rather than follow traditional molds of Western tales, the two weave in wild ideas that could only happen in the DC Universe; for instance, a recent arc saw Hex transported to the 21st century where he met the likes of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, and even Superman! Furthermore, artist Moritat, who’s only missed one issue so far (a miracle in this modern age when often an artist only stays on for a single arc), has a style that benefits this gritty, down-to-Earth, rough-and-tumble comic.
3. It’s easy to get into.
All-Star Western is a comic with broad base appeal. The Western genre is one that people of all types have embraced over the years, and has a core that speaks to the human experience. This comic, while set in the DCU, stands alone and can easily be followed by someone with no knowledge of the wider world or Jonah Hex. Each issue, in fact, tends to work as a stand-alone adventure, while still feeding into the over-arching narrative.
Because of these reasons, and I’m sure many more others can think of, I beseech anyone with even a passing interest to give this title a chance. Issue #28, Palmiotti and Gray’s 100th outing with Hex, premiered this past week, and the 29th will be arriving in less than a month and heralds the start of a new arc. All-Star Western may be in danger, but I’m sure we comic fans can save it. So go out there, pick it up, and tell your family and friends to do the same!
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