Comic: "The Cowboy Wally Show"
Published by: Other
Written by: Kyle Baker
Artist: Kyle Baker
Reviewer: Max Burbank
Plot: A documentary on the rise and fall of legendary entertainer Cowboy Wally.
Review: This is hands down, bar none, the god damn funniest graphic novel I have ever read. If I make that claim for anything else, shoot me in the face.
Long out of print due to various contractual squabbles, “Cowboy Wally” is the creation of Kyle Baker, a guy who wrote and drew for both Marvel and DC, both serious work and comic. He dropped largely out of site for quite some time in the 90’s when he discovered he could make way more money optioning scripts in Hollywood that never ended up getting made then writing comics. He’s been back in recent years, writing and drawing “Plastic Man” for DC, which I tried, but it doesn’t have the phenomenal spark and ear for dialog of some of his earlier work, and “Cowboy Wally” is the best.
The book is a ‘Mockumentary’ in graphic novel form, chronicling the career of a fat, happy, drunken conman. We see his beginnings as a kiddie show host, his earliest film “Ed Smith, Lizard Of Doom”, the entire French Foreign Legion Epic “Sands of Blood”, but the highlight for me has to be “Cowboy Wally’s Hamlet”, most of which ends up being filmed on super eight in jail.
Bakers simple pen and ink black and white line drawings may at first seem odd to those more used to wash and color, but it allows him to zero in on faces and body language. Baker’s drawings seem to act in a way I’ve never seen another artist capture. In his prime, I don’t think anybody matched Baker’s ear for dialogue, either. Check this line from his lawyers defense right before he ends up getting thrown in the slammer:
"The evidence against my clients is circumstantial, and those girls brought their own drugs and Wally and Lenny didn't know it was a Laundromat, and the pony was there when they arrived."
Have I stolen from this guy? You damn well bet I have. Now that this gem is back in print, I implore you to buy it, it’s a friggin’ masterclass in comedy. Honest to Christ, if you find yourself disappointed sell me your copy and I’ll give it to someone else as a Christmas gift.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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