Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Condon
Artist: Jacob Phillips
The first issue of ‘That Texas Blood’ has just debuted and is in local comic shops right now. This was yet another comic I read, not knowing what was in store. Image Comics has published many great comics lately, and this is one to add to your pull list.
This series is a mature, western crime series. In particular, the first issue is dark and tense; leaving readers anticipating what will be on the next page. It has a comfortable pace throughout the first issue. However, the action doesn’t kick off until the conclusion. Meanwhile, it might off-put some readers, but if you stick around to the end you will not regret it. This first issue is spent giving readers more of an understanding of the setting this story takes place in and becoming familiar with our characters.
Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips do some astonishing work here, and this is just within the first issue. You can tell this series will blossom more and more as we unravel the ongoing story in this small Texas town. Jacob’s color choices set the tone in each panel and leave a lasting impression. The art goes hand in hand with the story, and you can tell that Jacob really took his time on the art to ensure the great quality of it.
The adventure truly begins when Sheriff Joe Coates attempts to retrieve a casserole dish. We follow Coates on the day of his 70th birthday, patrolling a small town in Texas. One of those everyone knows everyone type of towns. Throughout this issue, we learn our sheriff has some unresolved trauma from his past, scratching at the surface. This issue gives us a true understanding of the town and how the folks of this town conduct themselves. The issue ends with a tense confrontation that really kicks things off in this series.
This is a fantastic comic that I would recommend everyone to give it a read. This is Chris Condon’s debut with a major publisher, as well as Jacob Phillips’ art debut. Chris already hooks readers within the first issue and I’m very excited to see where the rest of his series will take us.
Interview with Chris Condon
Chris Condon was able to answer a few questions about himself, what we can expect from this comic series and an inside of what to expect in issue two.
Aleana: What got you into writing comic books & when did you realize you wanted to make a career out of it?
Chris: I love comics and have for so long – I’m an every Wednesday guy at the shop. As for writing, I’ve been working on little comic scripts here and there, mostly spec scripts, but never really committed to anything. It was honestly after I was working already with Jacob on some concept art for a film project that it all clicked.
Aleana: What was your inspiration writing ‘That Texas Blood’?
Chris: My inspiration was Texas more than anything, at least the Texas I had experienced. I wanted to find a way to quantify that. Sometimes you just need a good tour guide, and this guy named Joe Bob popped into my mind. He’s been stuck there ever since!
Aleana: Is this a series you see yourself continuing with for several years or is it a mini-series type?
Chris: So, I have it locked in my mind at 30 issues. I like that number because of how you can collect it – it would be five volumes of six issues each. But I also have the stories stretched out to work that long. If you’re liking what we’re doing, you can at least expect to see Joe Bob and company into 2021, if not 2022. That is, of course, if people keep buying it and we’re allowed to do it!
Aleana: Is there anything you can tell readers going into issue #2?
Chris: The next issue will see Joe Bob taking a small step back while another character, Randy Terrill, steps forward. Issues 2 through 6 are really Randy’s story, which I’d describe as a noir-ish dive into a suppressed dark past. But, I would also tell readers to come to every new arc with no expectations. An example I bring up a lot is the X-Files, which was a TV series that I loved. What remained the same through that series were the characters that you loved. Yet, episode to episode it would jump from being a monster of the week show to a musical to a 40’s horror movie throwback to a comedy show. We won’t be getting that crazy, but we do want to explore different areas of this fictional county we’ve created in different and unique ways. If we’re allowed to do what we want, I think this will be a very cool series!