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Holliday Paperback – June 5, 2012
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Top customer reviews
What I'm saying is I've read a myriad of terrible novels.
And, to be honest, I was expecting the same from this. Most Holliday novels ae roundly awful, in new and exciting ways every time. I pre-ordered this, because I knew I had to read it, but my expectations were low.
Boy, was I wrong. There's so much to love about this novel. The gritty illustrations are a perfect noir-esque backdrop for the story, which is essentially a retelling of the O.K. Corral, which is the standard choice for Holliday novels, but it seems different here, removed from the trappings of the Old West. While this might seem an odd choice, it allows the brutality or the situation to be revealed, and makes all of the characters somehow more human. The replacement of Johnny Ringo with Johanna Ringo is inspired, and the replacement of Doc's consumption with AIDS feeds into the modern twist. I appreciated the fair treatment of Kate in this novel, who is so often portrayed as useless or awful. By contrast, this novel gives a fair balance between the two of them, and that alone endeared it to my heart. Between the smoky dialogue and the illustrations that occasionally steal the show, I just adored it. The only Doc Holliday novel I've liked better, of the many that I have read, is Doc: A Novel, but that has hundreds more words to make its point, while this works effectively with far fewer.
If you're a lover of Doc Holliday, westerns, or graphic novels in general, and you're sitting on the fence, let me encourage you to give this a try. I especially recommend enjoying it with a glass of bourbon on hand. Ace-high choice!
Very brutal violent rendering of the Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and the shooting at the OK Corral story re-situated as a modern day tale of urban gang warfare. Drawn in stunning, stark, shadowy black and white the art matches the atmosphere perfectly in this tale of dentist turned gunman, Doc Holliday. Personally, I'm not an expert on this story only having seen a few old Westerns and did a bit of google research after reading the book to see whether the tale portrayed here held with history. The book makes a vividly real presentation of these legendary figures, Holliday and the Earp Brothers, by today's standards as modern urban gangsters. Memorable moments are retained but modernized, Doc doesn't have tuberculosis but AIDS, they don't fight at the OK Corral but at a street sign "OK". This is a well done re-imagining of an old tale. Though not a Western here, fans of the original should still enjoy but so will fans of gritty-noir crime and those who want graphic books that skip the fantasy/sci-fi angle.
In this contemporary version, Doc is still a coughing dentist who gambles and drinks, but he's traded in his horse for a car and suffers from AIDS rather than consumption. The Erps get credit for fighting a war against drugs when they're shaking down the dealers -- including Ike Clanton -- for money and drugs that they can consume themselves. The story has a degree of depth that is uncommon for the medium. It doesn't stop with the shootout but continues to explore the dark aspects of the characters: corruption, jealousy, vengefulness ... pretty much all the seven deadly sins and a few more.
The writing is on fire: sharp, poignant, and honest. The artwork is dark and brooding, filled with shadows. It's well-suited to the gritty story. I particularly like the panels that are sort of fuzzy, reflecting the fuzzy memory of a witness recounting events. Both the writer and the artist deserve kudos for this impressive work.