After first appearing in the Aces Weekly digital comics anthology David Hine and Shaky Kane’s Cowboys and Insects will find its way into print later this month thanks to Floating World Comics.
The one-shot tells of giant-sized insects in small-town America and the guys who wrangle them but that’s all wrapped around a story of troubled romance. Bug Town itself is home to both Cowboys and the insects that fuel the population, in a world that’s got B-Movie sensibilities seeped into every corner and while the majority view these bugs as a means to an end there are those in the town that are a bit more caring about what happens to them. It’s all a bit surreal but if you can buy into that from the beginning there’s a roller coaster of a ride to be had in a one-shot that seems to have two levels to it.
On its surface it’s a recognizable, superficial American story about the majority imposing it’s will in a small town but all for the greater good with the notion that bugs are food and that’s all that matters. Under it’s surface though there’s a social commentary on the prejudices that can develop naturally within a community with an ability to eliminate anything or anyone that may turn against their way of life. Shocking in some ways but part of that shock is instantly accepted because we know that’s how things sometimes work so we’re almost part of the community from the off……which is a disturbing place to be in. The story’s success comes from David’s natural characters and their matter-of-fact approach to things we’d otherwise find bizarre but in the contect of a world that features cowboys & insects it ends up being so normal.
This is only the second title I’ve read with Shaky Kane’s art after the recent Last Driver and on the basis of these two titles the art is so unique and interesting that I could coast through the titles he works on without reading a word and just soaking in the pages. Bold, brash, bizarre & beautiful is a mix I wouldn’t normally be desperate to see more of but I want to see more of Shaky’s work and preferably soon.
The Hine/Shaky partnership feels like one of those pairings that elevate a story to new heights form the beginning and that’s exactly what’s on offer here with a cult-like release that I’d actually like to see more of.
You can also get along to Gosh Comics in London on the 19th October for a launch/signing event with both Shaky and David in attendance.