Review in Publisher’s Weekly
What is it about the French and their interest in the western genre? Generally, it’s a good mix, and often a great mix. This book is the latter. Cowboy Gus and his gang rollick though 13 interconnected stories, serial reels of sorts. Gus and his two buddies are on the lam, but none can stand to be away from women – any and all women – so they all sneak off to town and find themselves on the run from both the law and their girls. Blain’s drawing line is expressive and full of life, and the eight-panel structure reins in his loose style to great, calming effect. This one-two punch of all-out energy and rigid formalism hurtles the reader through the stories, which often veer into romance, as Gus’s entourage takes turn bedding tough frontier women and hiding out from the law. The most interesting flip comes at the end when one of Gus’s outlaw cohorts, Clem, begins to navigate a return to his family while his former love interest, an independent woman who’s a sort of artist/photographer, turns to robbing banks. Blain starts the book strong and finishes stronger, creating a rich storyline with characters whose ups and downs come alive on the page.
Review in 1/15 Library Journal
Outlaws Gus, Gratt, and Clem settle their problems over a bottle of rotgut—and you'd think their problems would be all about the next bank heist or train robbery. But no—it's women, women, and more women. This is romantic slapschtick, where the action can be vertical or horizontal, and the periodic episodes of lawless violence serve only as entr'actes between amours glorious, frenzied, or merely disastrous. Casanova Gus puts the moves on anything in skirts but usually ends up alone. The boyish Gratt does better: the ladies seek him out. Clem is married with a child and goes astray only once—and passionately. Even more memorable are the ladies themselves: Ava the popular novelist, free-spirit Isabella with the camera and fast horse, and Natalie, who plays Gus like a yo-yo. French artist Blain (Isaac the Pirate) delivers surprisingly complex characters and delightful, exuberant color art as well as lively and well-translated dialog. Unfortunately, because this was reduced from the larger European bande dessinée size, the drawings and lettering appear smaller than they deserve to be. The sex is only minimally graphic and serves up high points throughout the more elaborate penumbra of courtship dances that obsess the characters. Hilarious and sometimes poignant, Gus should have strong appeal among both men and women readers. For adult collections.—M.C.