Sunday, November 17, 2013


LAW OF THE DESERT BORN (Bantam, 2013; Hardcover)
Writers: Louis L'Amour, Charles Santino, Beau L'Amour, and Katherine Nolan
Artist: Thomas Yeates
Original Graphic Novel.

Free works. I read the Free Comic Book Day sampler of this over the summer and made it a point to watch for the release of this book. Based on the 1946 short story by Louis L'Amour, this adaptation is beautifully illustrated by Thomas Yeates. Yeates' artwork has a raw penciled look to it that is captured quite well on this paper stock. The book clocks in at over 150 pages and is presented as a single chapter story. I recommend setting aside an hour or two to sit down and read it in one sitting. Think of it as a movie in book form, worthy of your undivided attention for an evening.
Set in the days of the old west (New Mexico circa 1887), a territorial dispute between two ranchers over access to the river during a drought becomes a recipe for murder. Shad Marone is on the run, chased by a sheriff's posse through the desert. The posse is led by Jesus Lopez, a Mexican/Native American who seems conveniently too familiar with his quarry. The scenes shift back and forth in time, and as bits and pieces are revealed things become more intense. I enjoyed the pacing of this book quite a bit. 
I've been enjoying these Bantam/Random House original graphic novels, and look forward to the next one, The Web, scheduled for release by Ballantine in May of 2014.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This book is one tall glass of water, measuring in at 12.2 X 8.3 inches (30.988 X 21.082 centimeters for readers in the non-English measuring system world outside of the United States, Liberia, and Burma).
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Several pages of information and history on the story and the author. I'm not sure if those qualify as extras since this is the original format of release.
Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. This book uses a good weight uncoated stock paper. The indicia states that this book is printed on acid free paper. This rates for an OCD +10%.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Sewn binding with sufficient room for the book block to gently flex in the casing. It lays mostly flat.
Hardback cover coating rating: 2 out of 5. The cover of this book has a bizarre, almost cloth-like texture to it which I found unsettling. I ended up using a Kleenex to hold it because the feel of it made me ill. As always, your OCD mileage may vary.

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