The collected edition of Six-Gun Gorilla hits stores June 18th. Listen:
The result is a story that’s intensely, heart-breakingly personal and entirely its own thing, yet contains a healthy portion of relevance for literally anyone who might read it.
Six-Gun Gorilla isn’t what you think. That’s either a problem or a boon, depending if you’re someone trying to describe it or someone who wants to read it. It was born in a haze of metastrangeness amidst my search for the Perfect Western - the most elegant but touching story possible - and it bubbled and fizzed into something quite unexpected without, I hope, sacrificing either of those goals. It’s the work of which I am most proud.
What seemed to be a funny story about a cowboy ape turned into a treatise on the importance of fiction.
It’s a book that has defied expectations, truly provoked thought, and maybe helped a person or two not be so frozen by potentially negative outcomes that they never actually attempt anything that would qualify as living a life. Plus, it has an ape what shoots people with guns.
Every writer wants to be able to control the publicity for their own book. It’s intensely frustrating when something like Six-Gun Gorilla - which reviewed exquisitely well and topped a lot of the Best of 2013 lists - is nonetheless labelled (with a good-natured sense of powerlessness) as one of those titles which flew “under the radar”. It didn’t help that its launch was noted in the comics press more for the unhappy coincidence of a second project in development with a matching title rather than the fact of the thing itself.
We should all thank God for it.
But it’s fine. No biggie. Readers of X-Men Legacy will be familiar with my contention that a story isn’t a story unless it has an ending - that’s an application of narrative technology which finds its truest and most self-referential apogee in Six-Gun Gorilla - so it suits the project to be judged (and fanfared here and now by yrs truly) in its finalised form.
One of the best miniseries of 2013.
Six-Gun Gorilla is a story about a man trying to come to terms with loss, disguised as a psychedelic science-fiction Western set on a dimensional frontier where electricity doesn’t work. It was drawn by the impossibly excellent Jeff Stokely, whose work on this book caused such a flutter in well-informed arty circles that you will be seeing a lot more of him, and rightly so. He’s stunningly good.
Similarly well-informed comicky people have said wonderful, touching and blushful things about it - the book counts among it admirers Scott Snyder, Mike Carey, Fiona Staples, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kieron Gillen (you’ll find their words on the cover, obvs) - and it seems that our one and only remaining frontier is to persuade you, the reader, to help us to take word of this strange, undefinable book and spread it as far and as wide as you can.
Half a year ago, the first issue of Six-Gun Gorilla knocked me on my ass. I feel exactly the same way having read #6, the conclusion of this bizarre, but truly exceptional series.
Six-Gun Gorilla is a book that truly stands out amongst even the biggest names in comics, and the only way I could recommend it more is to physically put a copy in your hands. Which I will do if I see you at the store.
The trade paperback, with that supertasty cover (as at top) by Ramon Perez, will be on shelves from June 18th. We’d far prefer you to support your local comic store - or bookstore - rather than jumping online and feeding the AmazonBeast, but to make that work you have to let your LCS know you want a copy. Phone them, visit them, touch their fingernails with exaggerated interest; just tell them you want some of that weird-west goodness.
And if you simply can’t make it to an LCS, note that the book is indeed available for preorder from Amazon US and Amazon UK.
That’s a very poor quality photograph of an exceeeedingly secret collector’s edition Hardback cover, with art by the one and only Chris Weston, which will be available from the Boom! Studios booth at conventions, and possibly their website. It is beee-yootiful and vanishingly rare.
I’ll be doing a signing for this stuff at London’s Forbidden Planet - June 25th, I think - about which I’ll post more nearer the time. But I’ll bring a Hardcover with me then to show off, it’s a stunning bit of stuff.
Anyway, yes. Do please help us ring the bell.