286. Louis L'Amour's Law of the Desert Born: Graphic Novel by Charles Santino

Louis L'Amour's Law of the Desert Born: Graphic Novel by Charles Santino. Art by Thomas Yeates. Afterword by Beau L'Amour.

Rating: (5/5)

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

Oct 8, 2013, Bantam/Random, 160 pgs

Age: 18+

"The first graphic novel adaptation of the work of master storyteller Louis L’Amour is a dynamic tale of the Old West that explores the borderlands of loyalty and betrayal with the emotional grittiness of a noir thriller.

New Mexico, 1887, a land in the midst of the worst drought anyone can remember. Family histories and loyalties run deep, but when rancher Tom Forrester has his access to the Pecos River cut off by the son of his old partner, he convinces his foreman, Shad Marone, to pay Jud Bowman back for the discourtesy. Yet what starts as a simple act of petty revenge quickly spirals into a cycle of violence that no one can control.

Now Marone is on the run, pursued by a sheriff’s posse across a rugged desert landscape. Leading the chase is Jesus Lopez, a half-Mexican, half-Apache with a personal stake in bringing Shad to justice. Newly released from jail, trusted by no one, Lopez swears he’s the only man who can track Marone down. That may be true. But who will live and who will die and what price will be paid in suffering are open questions. Fate and the Jornada del Muerto desert possess a harsh justice that is all their own.

With a propulsive script from Beau L’Amour and Kathy Nolan, adapted by Charles Santino and illustrated in bold black-and-white by Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born captures the dust and blood of Louis L’Amour’s West—a world where the difference between a hero and a villain can be as wide as the gap between an act of kindness or brutality or as narrow as a misspoken word."

Received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

I love myself a good western but never seem to read them much anymore.  I absolutely loved this atypical form of the classic western.  Based on a short story set in the 1880's, the good guy and the bad guy are hard to differentiate.  The story starts off with a crime and the Sheriff and his posse going after the men, but quite soon all is not as it seems as the tale is told backwards and justice turns to vengeance.  The ending is certainly a wild west ideal of redemption and it leaves the reader to mull over, or debate with others, just who was betrayed the most and who actually was in the wrong.  Incredible black and white art with intricately detailed background and emotional close-ups of facial features especially shown in the eyes. A masterpiece both in story and art that complements the mood.  Impressive!