“TO HELL YOU RIDE” #5 OF 5.”
“We are only here until Mother Earth shakes us off like fleas.” Is what the toughest settlers would say to the stagecoach drivers who issued this warning: “to hell you ride!”. There are true moments of clarity for those in search of answers here, and their metaphors are insightful, for those who are willing to embrace their power…
This is more than just a Dark Horse published comic, it is a journey into enlightenment. A supernatural horror story about a Native-American town in the Colorado mountains that is suffering as a result of an ancient curse, the ultimate sacrifice is the only thing that can save the town, it’s inhabitants and it’s future. The Trickster is shown on the cover of this issue covered in advertisements which reflect the life of Jim Shipps, and he is an important piece of the puzzle, one that will guide our tragic hero to his chosen fate. This is the perfect patch to complete the wonderfully stitched quilt, that has told this tale so vividly and inspired such awe from start to finale. The highlight for me has got to be when the “war-maker” has his face shoved into a heater and we see his flesh rapidly drip away from his skull! I believe that the extremity of the violence is to create balance with the beauty of the spirituality that this story is based on… Or vice versa, depending on how you view it I guess. It’s exactly the sort of shamanic plot-line you might expect from the mind of Lance Henriksen (Aliens and TV series Millennium), who is co-writer alongside Joseph Maddrey. The language and the theme work together in perfect harmony, which sucks you right into the magic from the word go. There is a very real quality to the lettering and the sfx are fresh and interesting. I especially like the western-saloon inspired title, “TO HELL YOU RIDE” which is engulfed in flames! It is a thoughtful piece of art and lettering, that sets the mood before you even start reading the comic!
Tom Mandrake is the ideal penciller for this project, he has caught the vision behind the plot, it’s very life-force, bottled it and poured it onto the pages to give us a graphic adaptation that we can step right into and become a part of. Tom’s character work is exceptional, Jim is clearly based on Lance himself, which I think is a nice touch and the Trickster is a beautiful beast, who’s eye’s are like the stars themselves. Truly captivating artistry. There is a clear distinction between good and evil, light sweeping colours for the free spirited versus the mundane, dark uniform colours of military base… The inks become darker before they get so light that you feel as though you are heading straight for the sun. This is a mythical tale that has been voiced in the best way possible, through the proper use of art and language. It’s creator’s have tapped into the psyche of Jim Shipps, and expressed him and the path he walks with integrity and passion. So if you dare enter into this world, heed this warning… “TO HELL YOU RIDE!”
By Dylan Butcher. 😀
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