Billy the Kid returns for more of Eric Powell's Tales of Old Timey Oddities


Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities
Written by: Eric Powell
Art by: Kyle Hotz
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

I feel bad for anyone who isn't familiar with Eric Powell. If you've never cracked open an issue or trade collection of The Goon, then you, my friend, are missing out on one of the best comics ever produced. The Goon could mistakenly be labeled "just a horror comic", but it's much more than that. Beneath the gore, zombies, gross swamp monsters, and gangsters, there's a lot of heart and understated humor. It successfully blends that humor and horror with some fantastic artwork by Powell.

Powell doesn't spread himself too thin, concentrating on fewer titles that are all the more potent for it. He has contributed to Hellboy, has a great new monster horror comic with a carnival theme entitled Chimchanga, and the Buzzard mini-series, a character spin-off from the universe of The Goon. Any one of these makes for some entertaining reading on a weekend afternoon.

He is now revisiting the gang from his eccentric comic Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities in a new 4-issue mini-series that takes place in Victorian era London during the terror campaign of Spring Heeled Jack, ask Jack the Ripper. Peppered throughout the story are recognizable figures from the literature of the time period, all done with Powell's trademark darkly humorous spin. Most notable in the first issue is the appearance of a certain John Merrick, who you may also know as the Elephant Man. Here, Merrick takes the form of an intelligent, thoughtful, but grotesque monstrosity with loads of patience for Billy the Kid's antics.


Powell continues his trend of great anti-heroes. Billy the Kid is gruff and rude, but still endearing in the way that only Powell's characters can be. Kyle Hotz's striking art ties everything together with strong lines and cool shadowing that really captures the feel of London's underworld. I urge you to pick up this and the older series, as well as any other books you may have overlooked in the Powell canon. Tell 'em Dwight T. Albatross sent ya.