A Sane Cowboy and Two Chicago Cops

This year at comic-con I made two purchases on spec, as they say. Most of my Comic-Con purchases are from creators whose content I am familiar with. However, I also make a couple of purchases where I don’t know exactly what to expect, either on a recommendation or because they look interesting.

This time, those purchases were “Paradigm Shift Part 1: Equilibrium” by Dirk Tiede and “The Last Sane Cowboy & Other Stories” by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey.

Both of these were extremely good purchases, so I’ll say a bit about them.

Man, I am so far behind the times on Paradigm Shift that it would be weird for me to try and say what is going on. It is a detective story, set in Chicago, and (by the end of the first book) seems to be taking steps towards the paranormal, plotwise. It was a fun, engaging read, and I regret not picking up the second book when I had the chance. “The chance” by the way includes not only being at Comic-Con where I could slap down some money to buy it, but also, and more importantly, the part of being at Comic-Con where I forget about not really having disposable income for buying comics. Right now I can’t spend money on comics because I have to spend it on food and rent. Curse my sense financial responsibility! Since I don’t know what happens in the second half of the plot, and it is an ongoing story, I can’t say too much more about Paradigm Shift except to recommend that you check it out.

Man, let me tell you about The Last Sane Cowboy. Not everything in that book made sense to me. While that wasn’t always a good strategy, it works surprisingly well in this instance. As a side note, let me say that I enjoyed the artwork tremendously. I’m not art expert, so I can’t tell you what it was doing or why it worked, but something about it was just really very cool to look at. So there’s that. But my thing I want to harp on more is how awesome these short stories are. Even the ones that didn’t make much sense were intensely interesting. It left me wanting more of just about all the stories, which I suppose is what a good short story collection is supposed to do. I know that Goodbrey does a lot of form-exploration online. I saw some of his hypercomic work, and enjoyed it, but I myself am not really avant garde enough to thoroughly appreciate the twisting little mazes of interactive internet comicry, even when it is done well. So I was actually somewhat hesitant to pick up this volume, because my only associations to his work were what little I had seen of his hypercomics. Luckily, my cohort Ben was there to assure me of the quality of this work. Reading though The Last Sane Cowboy was a tremendous treat, and I’m definitely going to look at some more of the various comic offerings Goodbrey has online.

If people have recommendations of particular Goodbrey comics to check out, I am all ears, so comment and let me know.