Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

October 14, 2012

MRP Day 14 – Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse

Filed under: comics,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 1:21 pm

Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos’ Cow Boy is the story of Boyd Linney, a bounty hunter in the old west hunting down his criminal kin. Boyd is ten years old, pragmatic and wise beyond his years, simmering with anger and inexpressably sad. He’s trying to atone for his family’s sins against society at large by bringing them to justice one by one, starting with his deadbeat father.

So okay, this is not a happy story, but it is rather beautiful. Boyd’s tough, determined and resourceful – but he’s also a ten-year-old kid who would like to live a normal life. He’d rather that life was not a constant stream of disappointments and betrayals from the ones he loves, but that’s just how things are.

Cosby’s dialogue is weary and laconic, but witty and drenched with charm. Eliopoulos’ art is a simple cartoonish style that my limited artistic vocabulary suggests is what Walt Kelly or maybe Berkeley Breathed would come up with if they were drawing Lucky Luke. But comparisons aside, the art is a delight – visually appealing [1] and with a measured command of pacing and facial expressions that tell the story as effectively as any of the dialogue.

The first book of Cow Boy is out in a smart and attractive hardcover volume (thanks to Emma-Jean who bought me a copy for my birthday after I couldn’t even remember what it was called) but you can read the whole story so far for free online. I recommend the hardcover though, because it’s very reasonably priced and each chapter is separated by a mini-story by a guest writer-artist team. One of those stories has a penguin.

[1] Kids could read this, because although the melancholic subject mater is tragic, it is still about a kid wearing a cowboy hat, riding a horse and shooting at bad guys with the cutest firearm in modern fiction. It might raise some hard-to-answer questions about bad parenting models though.


  1. I just had a mental image of your blog from the day after relentless positivity ends, where the elastic banding snap back from positivity results in a digital black hole, sucking us all down and dooming the world to a new dark age. On the positive side, I did chuckle when thinking this.

    Comment by Jenny — October 14, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  2. Your horrific premonition is not completely without justification. Except that I doubt the *whole* world is in danger.

    Comment by lexifab — October 15, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  3. I am thinking you could achieve relentless positivity by not posting for the rest of the month, on the theory that ‘no news is good news’.

    Comment by Dr Clam — October 16, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  4. I think Cow Boy is entirely suitable for children.

    Consider this review of Finding Nemo:
    “I just watched a film where a mans wife is brutally murdered by a serial killer and his son is left physically disabled. In a twisted turn of events his son is kidnapped and he has to chase the kidnappers 1000 miles with the help of a mentally disabled woman.”

    Kids are tough!

    Comment by EmmJ — October 16, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  5. Emma: Yeah, it’s sad but it is also cool and empowering.

    Finding Nemo, on the other hand, is an absolutely fracking harrowing psychological nightmare. That review leaves out the chillingly manipulative angelfish cult leader (the James Woods character) and the scary-arse manic-depressive sharks. My eldest doesn’t like watching it much, and I pretty much agree with him – it goes over the line in terms of horror.

    Comment by lexifab — October 16, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

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