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REVIEW by Ginny: Bloody Chester by J. T. Petty – Release Date July 3rd 2012 (@puretextuality )

A deliciously gruesome horror tale set in the old west.
This isn’t John Wayne’s heroic old west. This is the real deal: a filthy, disease-ridden frontier populated by losers, lunatics, and murderers. And when you’re a skinny teenager with no family and a name like Chester Kates, your options are limited. It’s stand up and fight or roll over and die, so Chester, aka “Lady Kate,” is set to fight until it kills him. It isn’t much of a life, but it’s at least straightforward. Until things go all cockeyed when Chester is hired to ride his horse (also named Chester) to a ghost town and burn it to the ground. Except the ghost town doesn’t just boast a tidy collection of mangled corpses: it also has three living inhabitants . . . who won’t be budged. But Chester’s been hired for a job, and he’ll be damned if he doesn’t burn the town to the last cinder. Thing is, he may just be damned if he does. This horror-Western-mystery graphic novel will send a thrill—and a chill—down your spine. Funny, fascinating, and downright horrible, this is a book that keeps you turning the pages.

Due to my funk, it’s actually been awhile since I read “Bloody Chester.” I’d like to say that this time away has given me insight into how to rate this book, but really I’m more confused than ever. Just ask me last and I’ll be ready…

“Bloody Chester” is the story of Chester Kate, a down on his luck kid paid to burn down an abandoned town for some railroad tycoon. Once he makes it there though, he finds that not all is as it seems.

The art is different from your usual comic fare. It actually felt more like a newspaper strip than a graphic novel, which was rather appealing. One problem though was that it seemed like you would go pages without dialogue or in some cases without even a character showing up. Yes, it’s an exaggeration, and yes I’m sure it was on purpose, but it still felt like there was a lot of empty space.

Empty space that could’ve been used for more plot. See, the book felt like it was missing the beginning and the end. Like you were just kind of dropped into the middle of a story already in progress. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but I was left wondering what had happened on the pages just before and just after this story. The ones I didn’t get to see.

Crap, I still have to come up with a rating, don’t I? I give “Bloody Chester” 3 stars. It was an interesting and western with refreshing art, but it fell a tad short of truly awesome.

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