DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN’S HAND

(Shane Hensley/Various Writers and Artists; IDW PUBLISHING/VISIONARY COMICS/PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP; 2015)

Dead-Mans-Hand

What an absolutely beautiful book this is! Anyone familiar with Shane Hensley’s DEADLANDS role playing game will recognize the characters and the concept and will be immediately drawn into this world of gun-play and spiritualism. Likewise, anyone who remembers THE WILD, WILD WEST (the 1960s television series or the updated movie version starring Will Smith) will recognize the science-fiction/steampunk feel present here (especially in the first story, “The Devil’s Six Gun”) or, if you’re familiar with the early ’70s DC comic, WEIRD WESTERN TALES (home of El Diablo, a spooky Zorro knock-off with awesome art from Gray Morrow and, later, Neal Adams; the pages of WWT also saw the debut of Jonah Hex, one of DC’s most endearing western characters), you will definitely want to check out DEAD MAN’S HAND, a book that is filled with demons, spirits, monsters and supernatural happenings aplenty. Of course, these new era stories are more violent, more graphic, with far more blood than those earlier creators could depict. With that in mind, allow me to amend my first sentence to read, “What an absolutely beautifully written and illustrated book this is!”

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN'S HAND: "The Devil's Six Gun" (Written by DAVID GALLAHER, art by STEVE ELLIS)

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN’S HAND: “The Devil’s Six Gun” (Written by DAVID GALLAHER, art by STEVE ELLIS)

The majority of the collection compiles the original four issue run of Image Comics one-shots, beginning with “The Devil’s Six Gun” by the award-winning team of David Gallaher and Steve Ellis. The tale follows the life of scientific genius Copernicus Blackburne, a man driven to explore the unexplained. When the sewing machine repair shop he works for is given a military contract to develop new firearms, Copernicus creates and refines the protean pistol, the most accurate and deadliest weapon known to mankind. His efforts draw the attention of an American benefactor, Samuel Tygian, who commissions Copernicus to further refine his pistol, producing the ultimate weapon. As Blackburne immerses himself into his work, a series of unfortunate events robs him of his family, his home and… well, let’s just say that you should always read the fine print before signing any contract. Gallaher’s story is taut as a bowstring, while still adding little bits of personal information that allows the reader to develop an empathy toward the lead character, even as we follow his walk down the path to destruction; Ellis’ artwork is intricate and filled with a life that very few of today’s comic artists are capable of producing. The story sets the tone nicely for what’s still to come.

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN'S HAND: "Massacre At Red Wing" (Written by JIMMY PALMIOTTI and JUSTIN GRAY, art by LEE MODER and MICHAEL ATIYEH)

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN’S HAND: “Massacre At Red Wing” (Written by JIMMY PALMIOTTI and JUSTIN GRAY, art by LEE MODER and MICHAEL ATIYEH)

Massacre At Red Wing,” written by long-time Jonah Hex scribes Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, is a story about a girl and her dog. The young woman’s path finds her seeking her past and fulfilling her destiny; Clementime is searching for her mother, an Indian woman, who thinks that her baby daughter was put to death by her rapist, a white man who may have more than a touch of demon blood coursing through his veins. Having gained certain information that may lead her to her mother, Clementime is traveling to a small town called Red Wing. Along the way, she comes across a community beset by demons. She considers leaving demon and human alike to their own fates, but decides to intercede, using her mystical powers to defeat the demons and, with her dog’s help, gain additional knowledge as to the whereabouts of her mother. Once she reaches Red Wing, the story reverts to a rather standard tale of rescue and revenge. In this case, though, “standard” doesn’t mean bad or even particularly predictable… the title pretty much tells you where this story’s going; it’s just a well-used plot in the Western genre, whether in comics, movies, literature or any other medium. For the most part, the story is character driven, with some fairly graphic violence tossed in just to remind the reader what kind of book they’re reading. The art by Lee Moder (with colorist Michael Atiyeh working with a palette that’s far brighter and more inviting than most would use for such a tale) is very much in the style of the great Gil Kane, with beautifully rendered figures and graceful action sequences. “Massacre At Red Wing” is one of the most visually stunning pieces of comics work you’re likely to see.

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN'S HAND: "Death Was Silent" (Written by RON MARZ, art by BART SEARS and MICHAEL ATIYEH)

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN’S HAND: “Death Was Silent” (Written by RON MARZ, art by BART SEARS and MICHAEL ATIYEH)

The gritty, atmospheric “Death Was Silent” is an Old West take on the whole INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS scenario. Hoyt Cooper arrives in town on a bleak, rainy day, a body draped over his saddle. Cooper, whose tongue was cut out by “savages,” wears a slate board on his chest. The board has had a spell cast on it, allowing Cooper to “speak”; whatever he thinks, appears on the board. The slate announces that Cooper has shown up to kill everyone in the town, which is completely infected by an alien being. With a little help from an unexpected source, Cooper goes about ridding the earth of the alien mother and her offspring in a brutal display of violence. Series editor, Ron Marz’s story has everything that you could ask for in a western yarn laced with science-fiction elements and just a touch of voodoo; the artwork, by Bart Sears, matches the feel of the script perfectly… dark and moody. Atiyeh is back, using much harsher colors… drab and dreary, evoking the gloomy atmosphere of an inhabited town, as well as the weather conditions the story takes place in. Of all of the stories in DEAD MAN’S HAND, this one comes closest to the feel of those early Jonah Hex tales.

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN'S HAND: "Black Water" (Written by JEFF MARIOTTE, art by BROOK TURNER and C EDWARD SELLNER)

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN’S HAND: “Black Water” (Written by JEFF MARIOTTE, art by BROOK TURNER and C EDWARD SELLNER)

Black Water” is a tale of greed, lust and revenge, with equal parts Greek mythology, Scottish lore, ancient Chinese curses, TREASURE ISLAND, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Harmon Rappaport, a rich and ruthless man, has been on a quest to find a woman he saw only once (and that, after being hit with a musket ball during the Civil War); after a visit to a spiritualist, where he learns that the woman is dead, Rappaport plans a voyage to the mystical maze of Shan Fen, where the seer says the woman can be found. The siren call of the woman leads Rappaport, his body guard Ian Fairfax and a gunslinger and self-professed “guide” named Lyle Crumbfine set out on a paddle steamer heading downstream, in search of the maze; also along for the ride are the vessel’s captain and several other interesting passengers. Three nights into the trip, the boat is destroyed by a waterspout, leaving the passengers to struggle toward the beach and safety. What lies ahead is an exciting journey of sea monsters, ambushes, death and revenge. Jeff Mariotte weaves a suspenseful yarn, exploring the extent and the deprivations that one man will go to acquire the one thing he cannot have; Brook Turner’s intricate art shows the influences of some of the legends of the field, including – most evident – Neal Adams, Joe Kubert and Rich Buckler. Visionary Comics honcho C Edward Sellner’s deft hand and astute eye turns in a brilliant color job.

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN'S HAND: "What a Man's Got To Do" (Written by MATTHEW CUTTER, art by ULISES ROMAN and DOUG SPENCER); "Vengeful" (Written by SHANE HENSLEY, art by SEAN LEE, MIKE MUNSHAW and C EDWARD SELLNER)

DEADLANDS, VOLUME ONE: DEAD MAN’S HAND: “What a Man’s Got To Do” (Written by MATTHEW CUTTER, art by ULISES ROMAN and DOUG SPENCER); “Vengeful” (Written by SHANE HENSLEY, art by SEAN LEE, MIKE MUNSHAW and C EDWARD SELLNER)

One of two new stories to this edition is called “What a Man’s Got To Do.” Written by DEADLANDS brand manager, Matthew Cutter, and illustrated by Ulises Roman (with colors by Doug Spencer), the short piece delves into Indian mysticism and spirit animals, as Lucas Pitt joins a posse that is, ultimately, massacred by the outlaws they were hunting. With Pitt, the only survivor, on the run from the villains, he and they quickly discover that Lucas is a completely different… animal when he’s sleeping. DEADLANDS creator Shane Hensley supplies the script for the other new story, “Vengeful.” A marshal’s idyllic retirement is shattered by an escaped convict, intent on exacting revenge on the marshal and his wife. As the outlaw and his gang sets fire to the couple’s home, leaving the bodies to rot, we are quickly reminded that, sometimes, even a righteous soul can want vengeance. The art, provided by penciller Sean Lee, inker Mike Munshaw and colorist Sellner, is spacious, befitting the wide-open land it depicts. Other unique bonus features include a roleplaying supplement for the DEADLANDS RELOADED game, character concept sketches from Steve Ellis, Lee Moder and Brook Turner and a preview of the first DEADLANDS novel, GHOSTWALKERS, written by Jonathan Maberry and due from Tor Books this fall. Whether you’re into the RPG or not, whether you’re into weird western comics or not, you are still going to love the storytelling and the magnificent art of DEAD MAN’S HAND… don’t miss out.


DEADLANDS PROMOTION

(UPDATE BELOW)

DEADLANDS Promo

Back in the day, when the only comic books that I had access to were from Marvel, DC and the Warren black and white magazines, I bought and read just about every title from those three publishers. As they began to price me out of their market, I drifted on to other things, buying only the hardcover collections of some of my favorites. Now, however, with the Mule expanding past the music coverage that fLUSH and fLUSHstl was known for, I’m playing a bit of catch-up, especially with the ever-expanding world of indie imprints and studios. Which brings me to Visionary Comics and a title called DEADLANDS. DEADLANDS began as a role playing game (for those unfamiliar with RPGs, think DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, but set in Old West), expanded to a series of one-shot comics published by Image and, now, has grown to include novelizations, new comic stories, a proposed television series and more.

Now, IDW Comics is issuing a trade paperback (TPB) of the four Image one-shots, which will also feature a couple of new stories (one written by DEADLANDS creator, Shane Hensley), as well as a preview of the first novel, GHOSTWALKERS (by Jonathan Maberry and due from Tor Books this fall). While the TPB won’t be in your favorite comics shop ’til March, Visionary is offering a pre-order special for the collection, called DEAD MAN’S HAND. Here’s how that works: Through the January 29th deadline, pre-order the book at your favorite shop, post “I just got dealt the #DeadMansHand at (name of shop where you pre-ordered)” and e-mail a link to that post to PreOrderPromo@visionarycomics.com; you will then receive two free PDF books, a copy of the comic book THE KID, and a DEADLANDS RELOADED game book of your choosing. Pretty cool, huh? The Visionary web-site has all of the details here: visionarycomics.com/pre-order-dead-mans-hand-now-get-free-books; if you wanna check out the book, you can go here: visionarycomics.com/feature-dead-mans-hand-creator-spotlights.

So… full disclosure time here: Neither myself nor the Mule are associated with Visionary Comics, IDW Publishing, Tor Books or any entity involved with this project. I contacted Visionary because I thought the book looked like something I would enjoy. Likewise, the Mule just thought that our readers would like to check out what we think is a really cool weird western comic book (review coming soon) and get a bunch of free stuff, to boot… or not… your call.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, this pre-order promotion has been extended through Monday, February 16, 2015. You’ve still got time but, it’s running out faster than you think!


GUTSHOT – WEIRD WEST STORIES

(Conrad Williams, editor; 319 pages; PS Publishing, 2011)

Gutshot

The title says it all, though the first story (“Passage” by Alan Peter Ryan) seems to be a rather traditional, if a bit gory, Western. There is, I suppose, an underlying sense of the sinister and it could be interpreted as a tale of demon possession. Maybe that makes it more of a traditional Horror story featuring cowboys and Indians. James Lovegrove’s “The Black Rider” is more straight forward with its message… even if it does blur the line regarding what is considered “Western fare.” It is a fun read, though a bit obvious.

The Alabaster Child” is a post-apocalyptic tale that hearkens back to Old West stories of gold rushes and prospectors and claim-jumpers. Just to mix things up a bit, Cat Sparks also tosses in an odd little sub-plot involving slave trade. While there’s really nothing overtly horrific about it, it definitely gets high creep-factor points from me.

The Ghost Warriors” comes from the always fertile, generally warped mind of Michael Moorcock. Maybe the most well-known story here (by, certainly, the most well-known author featured), it was originally published in Moorcock’s 1997 collection, TALES FROM THE TEXAS WOODS. Most recently, it saw print in 2007’s THE METATEMPORAL DETECTIVE, a series of 11 stories starring Sir Seaton Begg, the dimension hopping head of the British Home Office’s Metatemporal Investigation Department (got all of that?), which fits quite well within the framework of Moorcock’s career-spanning “multiverse” (including, I’m certain, the Blue Oyster Cult songs “Black Blade,” of which a similar weapon plays an integral role here, and “Veteran of the Psychic Wars”). The story here reads like a standard masked hero Western, with the Masked Buckaroo (!) on the trail of a raiding party of Apache led by a supposedly long-dead Indian legend called Pale Wolf. This is the first tale in GUTSHOT to overtly feature any weird or supernatural overtones and is, as is generally the case with anything by Michael Moorcock, a great read.

GUTSHOT (jacket art by Caniglia)

GUTSHOT (jacket art by Caniglia)

Zander Shaw’s first published work, “Blue Norther,” is as fine a piece of Old West ghost story as I’ve seen. A tale of love, revenge, redemption and – ultimately – death. As Shaw says, “As a child, the most crushing thing that I learned was that everybody dies. That my parents would one day leave me affected me profoundly, more so than the impact of my own mortality. My mother and father died within ten months of each other in 2009. I wrote this story for my five-year-old self.” His five-year-old self must have been scared to close his eyes after reading “Blue Norther.” The next offering, “In the Sand Hills,” is a “geographic” Western by Thomas Tessier. Set in modern day Nebraska, it’s kinda like a “force of nature” horror story, though in the strictest Western sense of things, it’s about a hired gun sent out to bring back the ornery galoot that stole the payroll from his boss. The term “psychological thriller” comes to mind when reading this one.

If the last story was a “geographic” Western, then Stephen Volk’s “White Butterflies” is a “philosophic” Western. Staying in modern times, the scene changes from Nebraska to a setting that just screams “Western.” I’m speaking, of course, about Kazakhstan. The modern day fortune-hunters, seeking their wealth in the form of fallen rocket parts, is most assuredly the philosophic descendants of the dreamers who traveled to the American West in search of gold and riches. The claim-jumpers are more brutal but, like the Old West, Kazakhstan is a very brutal place for dreamers.

GUTSHOT (jacket art by Caniglia)

GUTSHOT (jacket art by Caniglia)

El Camino de Rojo,” by Gary McMahon, is Clint Eastwood meets Stephen King at Satan’s desert resort. McMahon’s story feels and reads the most like a “true Western,” with its year long trek for vengeance, stopping along the way to bathe in the gore and blood… the kind that can only come from a truly dark and evil place. In a book of great stories, this one (to this point, anyway) is the centerpiece that binds them all. A masterpiece of short story telling.

A good portion of the stories in GUTSHOT seem to deal with those looking for an easy score or that big payday that’s just over the next rise. Such is the case with Joe R Lansdale’s “The Bones That Walk.” The twist here is that the protagonist of the piece knows that he’s already ruined his life for something that he wasn’t even sure ever existed. While, on the surface, Lansdale’s story appears to be the standard “hero buys a treasure map” type, it turns into something more. But that would be telling! Amanda Hemimgway comes as close to poetry as you’re likely to see in a collection like this with her piece, “Ghosts.” She says that, rather than writing a Western parody with gunslingers and vampires, she ended up “ …writing a pocket history of the West from the viewpoint of all its ghosts… “ Works for me.

Christopher Fowler’s “The Boy Thug” is, in Fowler’s own words, “an odd one.” It takes the idea of outlaw gangs to its base level, introduces a psychological angle and a cute kid to the mix, and stuns you with the ending. Fowler says that while he was having problems with the tone of his tale, he visited Northern India. “By melding the two attitudes (Wild West and the Indian frontier), the story came in one clear run without a single word change,and was one of my most satisfying writing experiences.” Likewise, it has been one of my most satisfying reading experiences. “Kiss the Wolf,” from Simon Bestwick, is another modern day yarn. A story of apocalyptic proportions, with dark riders, cannibals, witches (well, one, anyway) and… but, you should read for yourself. I don’t want to spoil the fun!

Mark Morris gets all psychological and philosophical (and maybe even a bit metaphysical) with “Waiting For the Bullet,” a story of four adventure seeking Brits in the wild and wooly United States. The story unfolds as a cross between WESTWORLD (although no robot Yul Brynners are involved) and a rock festival with a little temporal disturbance tossed in, as well. The moral of the story is, basically, the old war-time maxim of “You can’t dodge a bullet with your name on it.” Paul Meloy explores the Lakota Indian legend of the mischievous imp Iktomi and his cunning adversary, Coyote, in “Carrion Cowboy.” The story has the feel and flow of one told by the tribal elders to the youngsters as they sit around the fire, which is part of its charm and why it works better than it would in a standard Anglo writing style. SPOILER ALERT: There’s a part of the story that is strictly horror movie fare, as it explains why zombies (and other dead things) prefer the taste of flesh.

Some Kind of Light Shines From Your Face” is part Greek mythology, part Oklahoma dustbowl and Hoover shantytowns and part women’s empowerment. Gemma Files’ tale reminds us that the old gods never truly die and that legends can be true. Peter Crowther (publisher and editor of PS Publishing) and Rio Youers are a formidable tag team on the excellent “Splinters,” a story of love and loss, life and death, faith and resurrection and the healing powers of music on the tortured soul. Oh, yeah… there are zombies and a shoot-out, too. Really, though,“Splinters” is, when all is said and done, a magnificent love story.

GUTSHOT (jacket art by Caniglia)

GUTSHOT (jacket art by Caniglia)

All Our Hearts Are Ghosts” continues the sentimental vein, as Peter Atkins delivers another tale of love lost and revenge taken. Set in 1934 Los Angeles, the story is not so far removed, chronologically, from what we’ve come to know as the “Wild West.” It’s a story that offers the type of poetic justice thing that the movie industry loves. So, of course, that means that there’s a shoot-out on a dusty Main Street of a long-dead ghost town.

Sarah Langan’s “Beasts of Burden” is like an Old West version of THE OMEN… well, sort of. The child of Satan is orphaned and taken in by a farrier, a man with seemingly magical powers when it comes to caring for a horse’s feet and… soul. As the child grows, he learns the craft but is haunted by the voice of his father and the lost souls of men, women and horses. He also learns that the word “horse” has more than one meaning, especially to one such as his dear old dad.

What God Hath Wrought” is an historical piece, but only in the sense that it is set in Utah and centers around the Mormon Church (kinda). Adam Nevill uses certain points in the history of that church to move his story to its ultimate conclusion. The starting point is their exodus from Illinois in 1846 and ends at the “Great Dead Sea” in Utah, two years later. As it turns out, the Church is mere periphery to the actual focal point, a vampiric shaman called Prophet Lehi. Another great story of revenge in the Old West. Finally, we have Joel Lane’s“Those Who Remember.” Set in modern (or slightly future) times, it’s a ghost story with, again, revenge as its basis. Unfortunately, the tale falls flat for me; the premise too shaky to be very engaging. Not a great way to end this collection, but in the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about one mediocre story out of 20… that ain’t bad at all!

Conrad Williams, Editor (publicity photo)

Conrad Williams, Editor (publicity photo)

Conrad Williams, the editor of GUTSHOT, has taken an odd angle that allows the authors of these tales as much latitude as possible with a genre that is due for a grand revival. I’m not saying that this book is the salvation of Western fiction, but it sure won’t hurt the future of the genre.


RAWHIDE KID: SLAP LEATHER

(Ron Zimmerman/John Severin; MARVEL COMICS FIRST EDITION Hard Cover, 2010 – collecting RAWHIDE KID Volume 3, Issues 1-5, 2003) A REVIEW FROM THE VAULTS

APR100663

The Rawhide Kid debuted in 1955, a time when parents (and a few United States Congressmen) were worried that the horror and crime comics of the day were seriously warping the fragile minds of America’s youth (much like the thought Nazis decried the violence in the Looney Tunes cartoons and forced all of the best parts to be edited out for television viewing during the ’80s). But I digress. Comic historians have debated who actually created and wrote those early issues, but betting men usually cite either the legendary Marvel mastermind, Stan Lee or his brother, Larry Lieber. We do know that as Atlas Comics was becoming Marvel Comics, Stan and artist Jack Kirby relaunched the Kid, giving him something he hadn’t had in the previous 16-issue run: a background story (an origin, if you will… or at least as much of one as a western gunslinger can have).

Now, writer Ron Zimmerman has taken that back story, fleshed it out and, in doing so, has given us a much different Johnny Bart than we’ve ever seen! I’d seen a couple of news stories and read a couple of reviews about this “revision” of the Rawhide Kid character when the strip was first announced in 2003. Apparently, there were some folk who were more than a bit upset about the character’s sexual orientation. What? The Rawhide Kid was gay?

I wasn’t too sure how I felt about that. Not that I cared one way or the other if a writer from the HOWARD STERN SHOW had taken a relatively minor (and presumed hetero-sexual) comic book character and “turned” him or “outed” him or however you wanna phrase it; it just reeked of that bastion of capitalists the world over – exploitation! Just one more character being transformed or revisioned for the sake of change or for the shock value. Maybe managing editor Joe Quesada knew that the Marvel brand may take a hit for this one, so when Zimmerman brought the idea to the powers-that-be, they foisted a third-stringer in the Marvel Universe on him to try it out. I don’t know. And, to be perfectly honest, I really didn’t care all that much. The Rawhide Kid – gay, straight, celibate (which, I guess, he seemed to be in all of his previous incarnations) – was never high on my list of must-read books.

Anyway… I wrote all of that so I could get to this: Nearly ten years after the fact, I decided to check out the hard cover collection (published in 2010), partly because I’d remembered reading something about the series and primarily because it was in the 80% off rack (which made the final price somewhere south of five dollars American). I wasn’t expecting much, aside from amazing artwork from the legendary John Severin. Boy, was I wrong! Not only is Mister Severin’s art exactly what I expected, but SLAP LEATHER is one fun-filled ride from first to last! Yeah… it is a bit cringe-worthy in spots (the Kid in blue speedos, the Kid in buttless chaps and trap-door long johns… you get the idea), but the story is also filled with enough gun-totin’ action and over-the-top, laugh-out-loud comic moments to excuse those. Some of the asides regarding the Kid’s style sense reminds me of the hilarious (and sadly overlooked) 1985 Tom Berenger movie, RUSTLER’S RHAPSODY.

Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather, issue 2, page 20 (art by JOHN SEVERIN, story by RON ZIMMERMAN)

Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather, issue 2, page 20 (art by JOHN SEVERIN, story by RON ZIMMERMAN)

Built around a solid plot with a great message, SLAP LEATHER, takes the Rawhide Kid mythos (if such a vague thing actually existed before) and fleshes out the Stan Lee “origin” story, to show a young Johnny Bart as a harassed and bullied “sissy,” both at home by his drunken father and at school by the bigger boys. Obviously, the diminutive young lad, having taken all that he could stand, finally took matters into his own hand and a legend was born.

Fast forward to… uh… I don’t know, somewhere between the early 1870s and the late 1880s or so. The sleepy little town of Wells Junction has been set upon by an ornery gang of desperadoes and ne’er do wells, with only a single, untried sheriff to stand up to them. Obviously, things don’t go well for Sheriff Morgan, much to the dismay of his young son, Toby. Of course, as in any good Western yarn, in rides our hero. Always dapper and well-dressed, the Kid really just wants to have a nice hot bath, a good meal and a few drinks. He doesn’t want to get involved and only does so when he’s provoked by the villainous horde of marauders riding roughshod over the town-folk (and making fun of the Kid’s clothes). The story is enhanced by the inclusion of several very recognizable characters, drawn from such classic TV shows as BONANZA (Michael Landon and Dan Blocker as Little Joe and Hoss in one of the funniest sequences in the whole book), GUNSMOKE (Milburn Stone as Doc), BAT MASTERSON (Gene Berry) and an unlikely LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE storyline (Melissa Gilbert’s Laura Ingalls). Heck, Zimmerman even throws in Don Knotts’ character from THE SHAKIEST GUN IN THE WEST!

So, if ya ain’t read this’n yet, saddle up, pardners, there’s a laugh-riot goin’ on down ta Wells Junction and you don’t wanna miss the fun! I understand that there’s a sequel out there somewhere and if I ever see it, I will own it! I might not even wait for it to hit the 80% off rack!