...and if you don't know where it is, visit the comic shop locator service or call 1-888-comic-book.
Today, Angel: Masks goes on sale, featuring what will likely be my last Angel story after many, many years of Angel stories. And also the first Puppet Angel story, which makes for extra Angel yumminess.
Also today, Diamond Previews, the massive catalog of everything offered to comic shops by the largest distributor in the business, goes on sale. This is the one for comics coming in January, which includes the first issue of Desperadoes: Buffalo Dreams, my horror//Western series.
In case you haven't read Desperadoes before, I've collected some comments by critics, colleagues, and other unsavory characters about this and past storylines (links lead to the full reviews if they're archived):
On Buffalo Dreams
I’m Jeff Mariotte's Number One Fan. I love his Desperadoes comics so much, I’ve actually considered kidnapping him, hauling him out to an isolated cabin, and forcing him to write more under threat of hobbling. But...since he’s written this wonderful new entry in the series, Buffalo Dreams, I guess I don’t have to. This is every bit as good as the earlier stuff. Like the earlier stuff – and like all good genre writing – it transcends the genre while remaining whopping great entertainment. I feel like I’ve come to know the main characters, Gideon and Abby, as well as Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty. I find myself talking to them, in fact. Is that weird? Jeff, we better have more, my friend. Soon...
–Peter Brandvold, author of the Lou Prophet and Rogue Lawman western novels
On Banners of Gold
It doesn't hurt Desperadoes that there isn't a lot of competition in the horror/western genre in the comics market. But even if there were, this would still stand out as a really good comic, and one that we see all too infrequently.
--Randy Lander, thefourthrail.com
There is little horror in this first issue, though darker elements are hinted at just beneath the surface of this Old West. Issue #1 reintroduces the old cast, and gets them on a new path, upon which there is sure to be gunfights and tangles with all manner of spirits and monsters. So, Desperadoes isn't a Western in the purest sense of the genre, but it is a sight better than most of the comics released in the genre in the past five years. It's the kind of comic that gets me thinking that perhaps the Western is due for a revival.
--Chad Boudreay, comicreaders.com
This issue barely gives us a taste of what’s to come, but I already know I want more. It certainly isn’t the usual disappointing Western.
--Jason Schachat, fanboyplanet.com
Jeff Mariotte’s DESPERADOES was one of my favorite reoccurring miniseries of the 90’s. It originally debuted over at Homage Comics in a mini that featured art by John Cassaday. That was the first place I really remembered seeing Cassaday’s work and it blew me away—gritty, detailed, and full of energy. Just as impressive was how perfectly it meshed with Jeff Mariotte’s script. It was full of the kinds of familiar characters and situations we all recognize in Westerns, but they were well fleshed out and interesting enough to hold my attention. In relatively short order it dropped in some unexpected supernatural elements without ever going too over the top. The series remained solidly grounded in the Western genre and treated the supernatural elements with deadly seriousness. As a result, the series worked far better for me than other series that focused too much on the bizarre and otherworldly, like JONAH HEX. DESPERADOES managed to keep a much sharper, more human edge that made the series work remarkably well.
This is a great series, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s got an ethnically diverse cast of great characters, lots of action, some quiet character moments, and it definitely earns its place at a publisher known for horror. There’s something for everybody to appreciate and it really deserves a bigger audience.
--Sleazy G, aintitcoolnews.com
On Quiet of the Grave
If you like believable heroes, if you like horror that steps beyond the
typical horror motifs, if you like westerns that gallop beyond the usual
trails and valleys, then you'll like DESPERADOES: QUIET OF THE GRAVE. This
is the good stuff.
--Tony Isabella, Tony's Online Tips
While there are horror elements in the concept of Desperado, so far this story has been a straightforward western, and I'm enjoying it immensely. Mariotte is writing an ensemble piece with a variety of different plot threads, resembling Silverado or Tombstone, and the book is graced with fantastic art by John Severin.
--Randy Lander, thefourthrail.com
Jeff Mariotte continues to gently subvert the usual expectations of the cowboy genre with his hints of darker horror and mystery in this series; while John Severin proves his talents haven’t been lost with age, quite effectively making the characters his own and inducing a classic Western atmosphere with his highly textured line work.
Still, Mariotte makes good use of the medium in the rest of the book. The characters are vivid, especially Brood and Kennedy. Everyone in the book seems to be driven by personal demons. This is not a book that glorifies violence, but shows it and all its consequences. The book is full of macabre touches, all of them presented in a world where they seem absolutely valid.
All in all, a darkly enjoyable book. Three stars.
Mariotte and company keep the supernatural menace off-stage for much of the story, concentrating on their heroes and the real- life horrors of the epidemic. Terrific character bits abound: Race finding personal growth, Jerome looking for answers, Abby seeking love, and Gideon carrying the burdens of friendship and leadership. There are scenes of human compassion, courage, evil, and frailty, and all of them ring true.
Never mind what arcane magicks he's used to channel the spirits of the great spinners of western lore. None of that matters. Jeff wrote a story worthy of the greatest westerns. Desperadoes is the best movie Clint Eastwood never made.
Comic writers are allowed to play in different genres, because the comic industry realizes something that mainstream publishing doesn't. It's the story that matters!
Jeff Mariotte knows that secret as well, and he's one of the best storytellers in the business.
Desperadoes is a hell of a lot of fun. A mutant Western, a rich mix of honest history and the beautiful lies of frontier iconography, it takes the Old West as a place unexplored, and therefore unexplained...this is leather writing, strong and dry voiced.
The Desperadoes universe is a rich, eerie, layered world that comics readers and horror fans alike will love. The characters are edgy, haunted, and driven...I can't wait to read more.
All the dynamics of modern team comics, all the suspense of a horror movie, and all the excitement and flavor of the Old West.
Desperadoes is the perfect fusion of fantasy, horror, and western action. This series works all across the board and has something tasty for every reader.
--Tom Piccirilli, author of THE DEAD LETTERS and HEADSTONE CITY.
So join celebrity Desperadoes fans like Joss Whedon and Harlan Ellison®--drop into your local comic shop and order your copy (or copies!) of Desperadoes: Buffalo Dreams. You wouldn't want to miss out on the fun!