If last week’s comic, Not So Super, was a cool breeze on a warm day, then I suppose it only seems fitting this week’s comic, That Texas Blood, has left me feeling like I’ve been woken up from a relaxing dream by a bucket of ice water to the face. For everyone new to this series, Looking For Heroes is my attempt to force myself to find comic series and characters that, at the very least, I’ve never heard of so I can share it with others. The beginning of this series has covered two feel-good comics, but this week takes a turn down a long Texas road full of unease.
The opening pages of Chris Condon and Jacob Phillip’s work set the table for the story of an aging small-town Sheriff just looking to take care of his family and neighbors before making it home to spend time with his loving wife. In the first few panels, though, readers get just a quick glimpse of the dark, cold reality that still lingers in this world. Even under a hot Texas sky, much like our main character, I became relaxed and had forgotten what the story was trying to warn me about. The more Sheriff Joe Bob made his daily rounds checking on the people of his town, the more I began to think the conflict of the issue would be over a simple casserole bowl. How wrong I was.
As our Sheriff made his way around town, it started to dawn on me what the writing and artwork were accomplishing. Like any great modern-day Western, it isn’t flashy, but by the end of the story, you realize you’ve experienced something special. I’m not from Texas, but I am from the South, and I can say that I’ve been in this world. I’ve met these people. I’ve experienced the heat that this comic perfectly encapsulates. Everything the story wants to do, it does, and it does it to perfection.
I’m hesitant to say we might have the beginnings of a classic on our hands, considering this is only the first issue, but I feel comfortable saying that Condon and Phillips have nailed the takeoff. With the mystery of That Texas Blood still only beginning to reveal itself, I cannot wait to see what the next issue brings.