The twisted minds of Eric Powell (The Goon) and Kyle Hotz (Evil Ernie) have crafted a new tale of adventure starring their gruff and salty western hero in Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness, the third volume in this brain-bending series from Dark Horse Comics.
Without even cracking the cover, and whether or not you’re familiar with the earlier books in the series, the title alone implies that you’re in for a wild (and strange) ride alongside one eccentric cowboy. Let go of any hold you have on reality right there at page one and let Powell and Hotz sweep you into their bizarre alternate history in which Billy the Kid works as a hired gun to protect a traveling freak show. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed that you did.
The motley band of “biological curiosities” sets off to Scotland to rescue their friend Callahan, the troupe’s famed Alligator Man, from a deranged kidnapper. On Callahan’s trail, they discover that they’re headed towards Loch Ness, and that it’s likely no coincidence. Legend of a vicious monster lurking in the water there has the local peasants rather”¦ uh”¦ edgy when it comes to anything or anyone out of the ordinary “” especially the peculiar outsiders who arrive in search of one of their own.
The events that follow are a roller coaster ride of comedy and horror with Billy leading the cast of characters right into the realm of Count Dracula. That’s right: Dracula. (And you thought this was just about the Loch Ness Monster, didn’t you?) The story takes a turn from mildly weird to full-on fever dream inside of Dracula’s castle as Billy and the freaks attempt to rescue Callahan.
In a nutshell, things go Lovecraft in a big way for our hero and his comrades. If you’re already a fan of the series, you’ll want to brace yourself: important characters die. True to his harsh wild-west roots, the deaths only seem to throw fuel on Billy’s fire and ready him for the next challenge the job demands.
Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness is a perfect blend of horror and goofball comedy. Billy the Kid may look like a young Clint Eastwood, but he’s all Blazing Saddles. It works for him, and it definitely works for me. If you enjoy the snarky humor of The Goon, you’ll find that same atmosphere surrounds Billy and his friends in this series.
Powell and Hotz are a team that never disappoint when it comes to stellar storytelling and creepy artwork, and the Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities series is a perfect marriage of the two.