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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
My Take On: Shane And Chris Houghton's Reed Gunther Issues #1 -5
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Comic Books - New


Shane And Chris Houghton's

Reed Gunther

Issues #1 - 5 From Image Comics!

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 IMAGE COMICS as seen at my own online comic book shop!

Top Photo left column: The Main Characters in Shane And Chris Houghton's Comic Book Series:  Reed Gunther & Sterling the Bear!
Photo at top of this column:  Chris & Shane Houghton at the 2011 Long Beach Comic & HoRRoR Con with Issues #1 - 5 at their table!  Today, November 9th is their Release Party for the TPB compilation of those issues in Los Angeles!

TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3543:

The past two weekends have flown by for me!

October 29th & 30th Tina and I were at the 3rd Annual Long Beach Comic & Horror Con in Long Beach, California.  There, among hundreds of other exhibitors, we met Shane and Chris Houghton once again, where I picked up the first five issues of their 'Reed Gunther' comic book series. I read them right away and knew that I would want to review blog them in the near future.

This past weekend, November 5th & 6th, Tina and I were at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 1st ever ComiKaze Expo, where we met Shane and Chris once again. This time their brand new TPB (Trade Paper Back), was shown for the first time at their table! I knew it was coming soon, being told at the LBC&HC that it was upcoming, but I haven't yet review blogged the issues I had just read in the floppy single issues format.

Well, today is their Release Party for the new TPB in Los Angeles, as seen by the flyer at the left. So I better get started! Please note: My review is based on the five single issues published in 'floppy' comic book format. Other than seeing the cover of the TPB at the ComiKaze Expo, I haven't seen the contents to see if any extra 'goodies' were included or not.

First, what's this comic book title about? Here's what the guys show on their web site:

"Reed Gunther is a goofy and exciting, all ages comic book, created by brothers Shane and Chris Houghton and published by Image Comics.

Follow Reed Gunther and his trusty bear, Sterling, as they ride through the adventurous Old West! Whether they're battling supernatural monsters, tracking down slimy villains, or catching a runaway train... you can bet they wish they were doing something else!"

Okay... So what's 'My Take' on this 5 issue story arc?

First, I'll say that I have seen either one or the other of the brothers at comic cons in Artists Alleys for a while... During their original black & white press run via their own independent publishing days for this comic book title.  However, I had not read their title in that B&W format before.

At the recent 2011 LBCC, I had the opportunity to pick up all 5 issues of the story arc, now being re-printed by Image Comics in full color.

The first issue of the five issue story arc is about:

Reed Gunther and the Steak Snacking Snake!
This first issue follows Reed and his faithful bear, Sterling, as they help a not-so-helpless young lady named Starla. Starla’s herd of cattle are dying off and Reed is determined to figure out how!
I’ll give you a hint. It’s a Steak Snacking Snake.

I found this first issue to be a very good introduction to the story arc, starting with the front cover!  Right away a consumer knows that this comic book is for 'All Ages', and that the price is 'reasonable' at $2.99 cover price.  The addition of the 'Image Comics' logo is something that would give comics readers a moment to think that if Image published it... There must be something in the inside contents for Image to publish it.  

There is! The storyline, the dialogue, the artwork, the characters, and the colors all appear to be 'fresh' and 'vibrant'! The introduction of the characters is smooth, and the storyline is a fun ride, (no pun intended on the front cover!).

Issue #2:

Reed Gunther in a Stalac-TIGHT Spot!
This exciting second issue is specifically designed to burst your spurs!
Follow Reed and Sterling as they venture underground in search of hidden gold, despite being warned by the town loony that there is something dangerous hiding in the caves! But what does he know? He’s crazy, right?

The action doesn't slow down in this issue, and is well written by Shane Houghton.  The artwork by Chris Houghton moves the reader into believing that this story can be told. I'm very interested in continuing on to Issue #3:

Reed Gunther in Trains, Reigns, and Pains!
The continuing adventures of Reed Gunther …uh… continues!
Reed, Sterling, and Starla hop a train in hopes of catching up with Mr. Picks, the slimy freak show owner, to stop him from spreading those dreaded mole creatures to the East! But I’m sure they will. Nothing ever goes wrongs in comic books, right?

This series continues on to be for 'All Ages', which is good, as I dislike series that start for one age group or as one genre, and convert to something else partway through.  The Houghton brothers have a good handle on what they want to present in this story arc so far!

Issue #4:

Reed Gunther in Fish Out of Slaughter!
Continuing his cross-country chase to reclaim the mysterious monster-generating Idol, Reed Gunther and his trusty steed Sterling must find their way through the wild, wild… East? Join the out-of-place cowboy in New York City, where monsters aren’t the strangest thing in town!

The story arc taking us across country works for me.  The two main characters are out of their natural element in the Big City, and this is a fun read.  It is good that this is a 5 issue story issue, as I am ready to read the ending in the Next Issue!

Issue #5:

Reed Gunther And The Freakshow Showdown!

The 'Freakshow (Final) Showdown'!   It takes 5 single floppy issues to finish this story arc.  A good number of issues / pages for a compilation into a TPB.  Not too short at 3 or 4 issues, and not to long at 6 issues.  Five issues are just right for a story arc such as this one.

I enjoyed the Statue of Liberty scenes in this final issue of the story arc.  I turned the final page feeling satisfied with what I had read in this issue and the earlier 4 issues.

This presentation was done right, and was in keeping with the 'All Ages' label on the front covers.  And no... It wasn't dumbed down for younger readers!  A fun read, enjoyable artwork, and great coloring made this a comic book story arc I would recommend to those that are looking for a series to help get younger people to read.  Plus it is a good read for those even my own age... Who remember comics when they were referred to as 'funnybooks' by the mainstream public.  It truly is a comic book story arc for 'All Ages'!

My comic book grade for this series of comic books is a NEAR MINT (NM) 9.4 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.  (I have not read the TPB compilation of these issues for rating purposes, just the five single 'floppy' issues published in color by Image Comics.)

I do want to mention that both the Houghton Brothers and myself were nominated in different categories for the 2011 Shel Dorf Awards...

The Brothers in the category: Self Published Comic of the Year, and myself for Comic Blogger of the Year.

However none of us won... Which is the reason for the sad faces at the left at the Long Beach Comic & Horror Con... LOL!   But it was an honor to be nominated, we all said! 

My thanks again to Shane and Chris Houghton for taking the time to talk with us at both the 2011 Long Beach Comic Con AND the 2011 ComiKaze Expo!

Oh... And have some fun at your 'Release Party' for the TPB tonight!

(Note: For those of you that can't make it to the release party tonight either... Here is the link to the Houghton Brothers' store at their web site, where you can still buy most of the issues in the original black & white published format.   For a copy of the new TPB, here is a link to it: Reed Gunther Volume 1 TP!


~Michael D Hamersky On Comics!


My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now at 3,543 total posts in number!   I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!

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~ Michael D Hamersky

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Posted by makeitsomarketing at 5:12 AM PST
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 6:59 AM PST
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