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Monday, December 16, 2019

The Smell of Starving Boys (Western) (Graphic Novel)

by Frederik Peeters & Loo Hui Phang 

Publisher: SelfMadeHero; First Edition edition (December 5, 2017)

Hardcover, 112 pages

Amazon Listing  

The term "smell of starving boys" refers to sexual starvation among young homosexuals. Not sure if this term exists beyond the confines of this book, but it isn't a body horror graphic novel if that was what you were looking for.
This is a Western that in a way capsulizes much of the mythology of the old west. Three figures with desperate pasts go deep into territories West of the Mississippi River. Their exploration is as much about running away from the past as it is forging a new future. In the end, much of their activities are based on whether or not they want to help recreate the Eastern society they are running from.

There are your standard Western elements: stolen horses, campfires, bounty hunters, stampedes, and Indian attacks; but it also transcends above the material. There is a unique spiritual element to the story with is strange and compelling, with an open ended conclusion.
And a good deal of that transcendence stems from the incredible artwork. It has a rolling quality colored to perfection to capture the golden nostalgia of a West that never was. It reminds me of Mobius's Blueberry series in its simplicity and complexity mingled perfectly together.
For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 

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