Although I’ve been a fan of westerns my whole life (comics, movies, TV shows, classic art and illustration) I was late to the party discovering Tex. The character Tex Willer debuted in 1948 and has been published continuously ever since.
(I wrote about Tex last year in my With Further Ado column entitled “Jes’ Who is this Hombre Called Tex”?)
I just received the latest adventure. It’s called Tex: In the Land of the Seminoles. This is a gorgeous, hefty hardcover written by Mauro Boselli with stunning black & white inked artwork by the insanely talented Michele Rubini.
One of the great things about comic conventions is running into entrepreneurs and creators that you hadn’t planned on meeting. I had the pleasure of meeting Rubini at San Diego Comic-Con. He was billed as Epicenter’s special guest from Italy. I found the only thing that could surpass his artistic talent was his overwhelming charm and generosity.
It was a bit of an absurd moment when Rubini asked if I would mind if he provided a sketch on the inside front cover of the book I had just purchased. “Would I mind?!”
Epicenter Publishing has a very international feel, although they are now headquartered in San Diego. Kudos to their team for carrying on the tradition of the comics they all grew up with up. And not only do they carry on the tradition, but they publish everything in beautiful hardcovers with beautiful paper and a certain “publishing majesty”.
This new Tex book is wonderful on many levels. The story shifts into high gear almost immediately and never stops. Rubini’s fluid artwork grabs you by the kerchief you’ve tied around your neck and pulls you into the action at once. Rubini displays a mastery of it all – not only anatomy and composition, but Rubini is an inking master. He knows all about balancing the lights and darks, and could almost write the book – maybe he just did, now that I think about it – on how to provide intricate detail without ever overwhelming the reader. Not on page 1 or on page 388. (Yes it is that long!)
You may have been exposed to Tex: In the Land of the Seminoles with the freebie distributed on Free Comic Book Day. If so, you already know the high level of professionalism and maturity that drives this story and publication. I just loved it.
Back at San Diego Comic-Con in July, I also purchased a copy of Alvar Mayor Book 1: The Legend of El Dorado, another book recently published. I didn’t think I was familiar with artist Enrique Breccia’s work, but it turns out I had enjoyed his talent on DC’s Swamp Thing for a few years. Back then, I wasn’t a big fan. But after devouring this book, I need to go back and read those Vertigo Swamp Thing issues.
This collection of short stories starts out straightforward, and each one gets a little nuttier, more creative and less traditional. I forced myself to read only one short story each night before I went to bed. The idea was to savor each adventure fully. This turned out to be another unexpected treat.
Epicenter has some amazing other books and you can find them all here.
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And lately I’ve been surrounded by babies – but I’d like to wish a happy birthday today to our “real” baby – Lacy Rae, our youngest daughter. She’s growing with an apartment and career in NYC, but she’s still the baby in our family.