Gunland (Gun Island, bk. 1) by Captain Artiglio. Translated by Mike Kennedy. Magnetic Press, 2020. 9781942367710
Format: PDF review copy
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Science fiction/fantasy/western
What did you like about the book? The wild west meets intergalactic fantasy is this stunning bad guy romp. The Doolin brothers are notorious outlaws, and one of them murders a homesteader in the first chapter. Cut to the local dive bar/saloon, staffed by blue skinned aliens, where the three brothers plan their next move. Dave has just adopted a kid from another world and wants to settle down and be a dad. Dan is the baddest and want to continue shootin’ ’em up and amassing loot. The third brother doesn’t get a chance to develop, because he’s shot down by the barkeep who wants the reward money. Dan and Dave escape on their dinosaur steeds (yes, dinosaurs). They discover that mythical magical skulls imbue them with new powers: Dave can escape into other dimensions, and Dan is immortal! Wow, so much going on, but it all makes sense and is simply and eloquently exposed through the art and gradual unfolding of the story. And I haven’t even gotten to the adopted daughter, the “girl with no name,” who ends up being an awesome fighter herself despite her youth. The art is gorgeous, with unexpected jewel-like colors in the landscape, dinosaur coloring and skin hues. It’s violent but the reader senses that there are reasons for everything that the author will explain in due time. I look forward to book 2!
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For adult graphic novel readers who love genre mashups.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Adult graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Maybe
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: April 23, 2020