Mar 12th 2013 By: Andy Khouri
"A hole in the wall of reality, a mass-market TV show based on violent military suicide, a world where the laws of physics don't work quite right, and -- yes -- a f***ing enormous primate with a f***ing enormous gun"
is how longtime 2000 AD
and X-Men: Legacy
writer Simon Spurrier
has described his audacious new project from BOOM! Studios
, a dystopian sci-fi saga based on a public domain pulp fiction character whose true creator's name has been lost to history. A proposition that Spurrier admits is as absurd as it is potentially awesome, we must say that the early cover artwork by ComicsAlliance favorites James Harren
(B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth
) and Ramón Pérez
(Tale of Sand, Wolverine and the X-Men
) go a long way towards winning us over.
The first I'd heard of Six-Gun Gorilla was when CA contributor Sarah Horrocks
created a pin-up of the character that we featured in a 2012 edition of Best Art Ever (This Week)
. As it turns out, the character originally appeared in British publications throughout the 1930s and was, according to the great pulp historian Jess Nevins
, a what you see is what you get kind of serial. Played completely without irony, the Six-Gun Gorilla aka O'Neil wandered the Old West on a quest for revenge after the murder of his human mentor.
Also the writer of numerous sci-fi works for 2000 AD
including Judge Dredd
and Tharg's Future Shocks
and a contributor to what we've called the best crossover event of 2012
, Spurrier became enamored with Six-Gun Gorilla after acquainting himself with Nevins' research. "Part of what made Six-Gun Gorilla so enticing to me -- besides all those conflicting layers of absurdity and awesome -- is that the maestro who wrote all those original stories was never named," Spurrier wrote on his blog
. "Nobody knows who he or she was. That plays so deliciously into the mythos of The Western as a trope - as a thing responsible for its own legend - and it'll come as no surprise that on the acknowledgement page for this series, right beside Jess's name, you'll find a dedication to '[CREATORS UNKNOWN].'"
Drawn by newcomer Jeff Stokely, Spurrier's intention is to use the bizarre premise as a way of synthesizing his passions for the various genres it inhabits, particularly the Western. "I love Westerns," he wrote. "Six-Gun Gorilla is the culmination of all my obsessive theorizing and cultural sampling: a love-letter to the most beautiful, most tragic, most self-fulfillingly-obsolete genre of them all.
"It's is not about a Gorilla in a cowboy hat."
(click to enlarge)
BOOM! Studios' solicit text offers more insight into the book and its world:
Welcome to "the Blister" -- a bizarre other-world colonized by humans sometime in the 22nd century, which quickly became a hotly-contested source of fertile land and natural resources long ago exhausted on Earth. In this new frontier, a rogue gunslinger and his companion wander across a wilderness in the grips of a civil war, encountering lawlessness, natives, and perversions of civilization in a world at the crossroads between the past and the future. The fact that said gunslinger is a bio-surgically modified silverback gorilla toting a pair of enormous revolvers is neither here nor there.
Six-Gun Gorilla debuts in June from BOOM! Studios.