Reed Gunther #1


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Reed Gunther #1


  • Words: Shane Houghton
  • Art: Chris Houghton
  • Story Title: Reed Gunther and the Steak Snacking Snake
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 1, 2011

With the bulk of popular comics being stories about costumed heroes punching each other, it’s nice to have a well-written story about a silly cowboy and his trusty bear named Sterling. "Reed Gunther and the Steak Snacking Snake" lives up to its name and tells a story filled with laughs and western flair.

Originally printed in black and white before it was picked up by Image Comics, Reed Gunther now uses a full palette of color to help tell the story. While there are many shots of the desert at night with soft blues and grays, pops of red and orange bring moments of danger and action alive on the page. The reason there’s so much danger? The duo are determined to help Starla - a strong-minded woman rancher whose cows are being eaten by a giant snake - but not before she chases them around with a machete for fear of them threatening her cattle. Starla’s straightforward and aggressive personality make all conversations with the goofy Gunther a comedic delight.

On the first page, Gunther says to Sterling, “Sometimes I do wish you could talk.” He doesn’t have any dialogue, but Shane writes Sterling in such a way that his voice comes off just as clear and strong as Gunther and Starla’s. Whether he’s attacking the giant snake, dodging machete swipes, or gently goading Gunther into apologizing to Starla, his facial expressions always make for humorous reaction shots.

Gunther himself proves to be a charming cowboy with a good heart, even though his slow-wittedness constantly grinds on Starla’s straight-to-the-point tactics. But it’s that friction, combined with excellent comedic rhythm, that makes the whole comic a joy to read.

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