The Sixth Gun, Vol 1: Cold Dead Hands (Oni Press)
To mix it up a little, this week I want to shine the spotlight on a title that I always meant to check out, but didn’t get around to until recently: The Sixth Gun. Written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Brian Hurtt, The Sixth Gun is a Western/Horror hybrid that mixes both genres in new and clever ways, and it grabbed my attention unlike any other series has in a long time.
Sixth Gun focuses on two characters: Drake Sinclair and Becky Montcrief. When Becky’s father dies at the hands of some outlaws, she is bestowed her father’s pistol, which allows her to see visions of the near future. Sinclair, who is on a search for the mystical treasure in General Hume’s vault, is told to seek out the Montcrief family, as they hold the keys to his fortune. But when the two cross paths, they’re dragged into a dangerous and horrifying adventure that could destroy the very world.
From the opening captions, you know you’re in for something unique with this series. Cullen Bunn peppers his script with the Old West style writing that you know like the back of your hand, but the addition of the dark and truly original supernatural elements he adds to the story make for something that appeases fans of both Deadwood and Red Dead Redemption as well as horror titles like Walking Dead and even fantasy like Lord of the Rings, a comparison even more apparent when you learn what the six mystical guns the title refers to can do. It’s a series that’s tailor made for a TV or movie adaptation, and frustratingly, it still hasn’t gotten one (though SyFy and NBC have tried).
At first glance, Brian Hurtt’s art may look out of place from the description of the book that I’ve given you, but trust me, it works very well with the script. Hurtt’s cartoony style give the book a very unique look, and creates some truly unsettling character designs. A mix of Mike Mignola and Chris Samnee, his art leaves an immediate mark on you, and I really don’t think it could be replaced. He’s got an impeccable sense of design and layouts, and works so well with Bunn’s script.
The Sixth Gun’s first volume from Oni Press is a measly ten bucks, and can be read on its own, so if you find yourself not digging it it’s not a big investment. But you’ll probably find yourself ripping through it in one sitting, jonesing for the next installment like I did. If there’s a Western-sized hole in your heart now that you’ve finished Red Dead Redemption II, then The Sixth Gun could be the thing to fill it.