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The Grave Doug Freshleyby Josh Hechinger
Synopses & Reviews
When Shane McNally hired his childhood friend Douglas Freshley to help out on the McNally homestead, it was understood that half the job for the former schoolmaster would be tutoring the McNally's bright, but rambunctious boy, Bartholomew, called Bat. But the ruthless Delancey Gang ended Doug's employment in a cattle raid, killing Bat's parents, killing Doug himself, and setting the McNally homestead ablaze with Bat still inside. Not one to let a little thing like a bullet between the eyes stand in the way of meeting his personal and professional obligations, Doug returns as a walking corpse in time to save Bat. Together, they set out to deliver a little frontier justice to the ones that done them wrong. However, as they track down Hatch, Taz, Rocco, and Ray Delancey, they find that Doug is being stalked by the Deadliest Gun in the West (Or Anywhere): the Grim Reaper hisownself!
"Mixing the western and living dead genres, Hechinger has created a graphic story that is not simply the clash of two genres but something altogether different. The story follows Doug Freshley, hired by his good friend, Shane McNally, to be a teacher and mentor to a young lad named Bat. When Freshley witnesses the murder of Bat's parents at the hands of the Delanceys — a vicious family of thugs and lowlifes — he vows to fulfill Shane's dying request to take care of Bat. The strange bit, of course, is that the attack on the McNally's appears to result in Freshley's death as well — except that it... doesn't. As the living dead, Freshley does not conform to our expectations. He is not mindless or grotesque or terrifying (except to the Delanceys) but thoughtful and determined and of a mind to see that Bat's well-being is looked after. The artwork by mpMann accompanies the narrative perfectly, capturing both the enigmatic character of Freshley and his relationship with Bat. Although there were many ways for Hechinger to steer the narrative toward a predictable ending, he manages to provide us with a resolution that is both satisfying and original. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A yarn about friendship, vengeance, and not letting fatal head wounds interfere with your most solemn promises.
Doug Freshley was hired by the McNally's to be more then just a cowboy. The former schoolteacher was also asked to tutor the bright but undisciplined young Bat McNally.
On the day that the rotten Delancey gang bushwhacked the McNally ranch, Bat hid in the cupboard, while Ma and Pa and Doug took the bullets. But Doug had promised to watch out for Bat, and a promise is a promise when you're a cowboy. So, despite a bullet hole between the eyes and a really nasty exit wound out the top of his head, Doug stood up to keep his word.
Together, Doug and Bat are fixing to dispense a little frontier justice. But justice is a two-way street, and Doug has cheated Death. At the end of the road, he will have to face down the inevitable gunslinger, the Grim Reaper, his ownself.
Douglas Freshley, a former schoolmaster, is hired by his longtime friend, Shane McNally, to tutor their rambunctious son, Bat. But when the Delancey gang raids the McNally ranch, killing all the adults, it's up to the corpse of Doug to rise up, protect Bat, and exact some good ol' frontier justice! Little does he know, however, that he's being stalked by the Deadliest Gun in the West (or anywhere) — the Grim Reaper, himself!
About the Author
Josh Hechinger's works include The Grave Doug Freshley, Bear Beater Bunyan, and Bouncing Off Clouds in Image's Comic Book Tattoo. He lives in Philadelphia. Also the author of The Lone and Level Sands. Marvin Perry Mann began his comics career inking The Trouble With Girls (Malibu Graphics). Other titles included Ape City, Lizard Lady and Flesh Gordon.
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