The great thing about digital comics is that there isn’t one way to publish your story. Whether you’re distributing through a major company and keeping to a strict monthly schedule or you’re self-publishing online and releasing it whenever you feel is right, there’s no hard and fast rule about how best to release your work to the public.One prime example of doing things differently is the brilliant Cow Boy from Chris Eliopoulos and Nate Cosby. We spoke to Chris back in August when Cow Boy was still in it’s infancy and so it’s great to see it finally appearing online, and it really has been worth the wait. Chris and Nate have taken the bold step of offering pages from Cow Boy free on their site cowboycomic.net while also offering dedicated readers the option to pre-order a hard cover print edition which will be published by Archaia Press.Releasing sections of each chapter on a weekly basis, which consist of around half a dozen traditional panels at a time, the story is part old school cowboy yarn and part newspaper strip, mixing serious motivations with cracking sight gags. Cow Boy follows the tale of titular cow boy Boyd Linney a 10 year-old bounty hunter on a mission to round-up his family, starting with the elusive Dub Linney. Confounding your expectations, Cosby uses Boyd’s age and diminutive stature to great effect as the grizzled townfolk refuse to take him seriously resulting in him dishing out his own brand of frontier justice with his faithful ‘horse’.
Eliopoulos’ artwork has always had a Bill Watterson/Calvin and Hobbes feel to it, but with Cow Boy he is give it a much harder edge. Each page is dripping with mood and personality and with the natural textures of the colouring it has a brilliantly, aged feel. In digital the colours leap of the page, but in print you can’t help but feel they will give the book a really classic feel.
With a weekly installment set to be released over the next few months at cowboycomic.net building to hard cover release in March, it’s time to set your RSS reader, rather than your traditional pull list order, make sure you get your regular does of Cow Boy action every week!