Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips (Criminal, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies) have a new book out this summer from Image Comics, called That Texas Blood. A neo-western more along the lines of No Country for Old Men than High Noon, the book focuses on Sheriff Joe Bob Coates and his experiences with crime in his hometown of Fort Lehane.
On the series, Condon said, “I’ve always had a fondness for the West. When you’re a kid it’s the Old West—cowboys and six-shooters, the lawless frontier of Deadwood and Tombstone. As you grow older you learn the truth about the place—you see it as it is today. The character, the grit, the creeping darkness of that vast landscape. You learn it through Portis, Thompson, the Coens, through books, television, or the news.”
He continued, “Texas is America’s mystical land, where laws don’t necessarily apply, where right isn’t always right and a gun can be on every hip and every itchy finger ready to pull the trigger. I wrote a story about this place, moreso the feeling it evoked. The character that grew from that wasn’t a sinister villain but a good man with a complicated relationship with his place in the world. What came were dreams of Texas. Dreams of a sheriff trying to make right in a wrong world. What came was Joe Bob. He’s almost like a friend now. I hope you’ll feel the same.”
I have high hopes for this book. There’s an exceptionally strong artist on-board and despite how heavy the book sounds, I think Image could use a good, grounded genre book to beef its slate up a little bit.
Phillips also released a statement, saying, “What we’ve basically got is a modern day western crime tornado that tears up Texas, what’s not to love?”
To me, Phillips is the real draw here. He’s been doing exceptional work colouring Ed Brubaker and his father Sean Phillips‘ work since My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies came out in 2018. As you can tell from the preview pages below, Jacob seems to have absorbed much of the visual language and storytelling sensibilities that his father currently employs in his work, which is fascinating considering his father is one of the great visual storytellers alive. I’m very excited to see more of Jacob’s work here. He’s also working on Pulp, the new OGN from the aforementioned team also releasing this May.
That Texas Blood hits shelves and digital stores on Wednesday, May 27. Check out both covers below, as well as some preview art.