"Pariah, Missouri" Book One - A graphic novel published by Salazar Entertainment
"Sometimes the best trap is a killer." (Andrés Salazar, "Pariah, Missouri")
In 1857, the marshall of a small boomtown, Pariah, Missouri, pulls up his stakes and leaves without a word to anyone, even his ex-partner, Obadiah Kane, whom the marshall knew was on his way to visit him for a spell. Kane and the marshall, Cody, have been friends for years, and have been through many rough spot together, and if it's one thing Kane knows it's that Cody doesn't run, and Cody doesn't forget a friend. Something bad is afoot in Pariah, and Obadiah Kane aims to find out what. But Kane isn't the only one who smells a rat. Hiram Buchanan, a dandy card sharp from back east, has noticed the marshall's disappearance, as well as the strange disappearance of some local children, and sets out to find answers. After a chance encounter, Hiram sets his sights on a couple newly arrived from Boston, two show-people and puppeteers - the slick, smooth Scaramouche, and his lady-companion, the disarmingly beautiful enchantress, Olivia. Something about them isn't right...And that something just might be deadly dangerous. Buchanan thought he was looking for killers, but what he finds is that he is searching for something far worse, far more evil, and more ancient than he could ever have imagined. Luckily for him, the town has some talent that isn't afraid to go head to head with the darkness: Nellie, a fiery courtesan who's family hotel was stolen from her; Toro, a hulking, infamous Native American bounty-hunter with magical secrets of his own; and Jean Lafitte, a free black man from out New Orleans-way...A man with a blurry past who happens to have a mighty powerful way with voodoo magics. Hiram Buchanan himself is more than what he seems, as is each member of his rough posse - they will need all of their considerable skills if they hope to trap the darkness that threatens to swallow Pariah.
Andrés Salazar whips up a powerfully cool weird western tale in "Pariah, Missouri." In this book, Salazar does more showing than telling, which is always the better way, and usually, the more difficult way, to tell a story. In the caption boxes, the reader may get a name, maybe some tidbits about a character and a few of their musings; however, Salazar mostly uses the caption boxes to convey the thoughts of the disappeared marshall, Cody, taken from his letters, which paints us a picture of Pariah, the people who inhabit it, and how Cody saw them and interacted with them. Halfway into the book, the captions nearly totally cease, and the story is driven by the art, the dialogue and the interactions that the characters have in this captivating world that Salazar has created together with the kinetic and distinctly gorgeous artwork of José Luis Pescador. Each character of Salazar's story is fleshed out well (although some more than others), seems real, and fits perfectly in his vision of this fictional, wild west, outlaw-laden boomtown plagued by dark creatures and wicked men. No one, and nothing is at is appears to be. It's a bit of "Supernatural," a bit of "Tombstone" (one of my favorite films) all rolled together to make one spectacular western tale of the paranormal in Pariah. At over one-hundred pages of story and cool extras, this book made for a hugely enjoyable read for me that lasted well over an hour - with both a story and artwork that were equally engrossing I was in no hurry for this book to end. "Pariah, Missouri" would absolutely make for the basis of a fun film, or even better, a weekly television show. I would be SO into that.
If you like tales of the weird in the wild old west, do yourself a favor and don't miss out on Salazar's and Pescador's "Pariah, Missouri."
RATING: An enthusiastic 10 out of 10!
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