Sheppertons Waltz is a new sixty seven page graphic novel from independent publisher Oort Cloud Comics. The book is a futuristic creature feature with its roots fixed firmly in the classic western genre with a little Sci-Fi in the mix.
Forced to carve out a hardscrabble existence on an unforgiving colony planet, the citizens of Hillsborough Township have awakened something sinister in the mines outside of town…creatures. Their only hope lies with Angus Shepperton, town drunk and no-good husband. After fighting the creature infestation for weeks and losing everything he’s ever loved, Shepperton embarks on the last day of his quest to save the townsfolk that never passed up a chance to kick him when he was down. However, his last chance for redemption depends on his ability to indulge in his greatest weakness.
This book was written by Oort Cloud Comics founder Patrick Killik. The story and concept is interesting but misses the mark at times. One example of this would be the fact that the story is meant to be set in an otherworldly future and yet there is almost nothing in the story to suggest that. There is one section which flashes back to our reluctant hero’s past to his childhood. In this section, we get our only real glimpse of the fact this book is not circa 1800’s old west. Unfortunately, this section is too short and feels like a missed opportunity to flesh out the narrative. The dialogue in the book is good and the choice to let the artwork tell the bulk of the story is also fantastic as the seasoned work of pro artist Marc Laming shines through. Marc has captured the elements that make up a good western really well and the attention to detail level is superb in places. The characters are well drawn and the expressions they convey hit all the right emotions. My only gripe would be that the two main human characters look very alike and it’s somewhat confusing to tell the difference during action scenes. The book is full of action and it makes for an engaging read.
The coloring serves its purpose and the color palette choice is OK, however, I would say that there is a little too much brown, tan and reds. The creatures for example could have been given a real colorful treatment seeing as they are alien in nature, instead they are rather blandly shaded with reddish brown all over. The “ghosts” in the book are also a little uninspired in terms of coloring and it would have been nice to have had some effects added rather than just making them blue. It’s a bit of a shame as a better coloring job could have really made the good artwork pop and made this book standout.
Overall I did enjoy this book and its worth a look by anyone that enjoys westerns and creature books. You can find out more about the book and its creators on the Oort Cloud Comics website. You can also buy your digital copy from Amazon via the website page.