As a kid I was enamoured with many flavours of speculative fiction mixed with westerns and that love for genre mashups has continued to this day. Erin Mehlos‘ Next Town Over takes a western setting and infuses it with steampunk and fantasy elements to create a fast-moving adventure story. I was drawn in immediately by the superb art and stayed for the unfolding mystery hinted at through the unfolding narrative.
The story follows a chase through towns in the wild west as the protagonist and antagonist fight and leave ruin in their wake. The tone carries a lot of the feel of pulp stories and the pacing is perfectly matched to the action.
Next Town Over is available to read on its website, as well as in a print and digital editions.
Next Town Over is a weekly paean to the western, with some steampunk and fantasy splashed in, updating at the stroke of midnight on Saturdays. There’s some twists lurking a little deeper in the story, but it’s a bit early to tip my hand talking about those; as of this writing the comic is pretty newly-minted.