I Doubt Anyone Lives a Perfect Life

I stare at the sticker gifted by Ronald Kelly. Ron tosses in a couple free stickers when you purchase directly from his website. I paid for the book, and he not only signs and dates the book, he also draws an illustration as well. I think that’s well worth buying RK books from the Southern Fried Horror legend himself.

I’ve been reading Death’s Head Press Splatter Western books as of the past several days. The first in the series is titled, The Magpie Coffin, by Wile E. Young. Funny how google assumed I was searching for Wile E. Coyote- close, but no cigar, google.

My first taste of this Splatter Western series was actually when I came close to finishing, The Thirteenth Koyote, by Kristopher Triana. The downside is most of the mythos built in this realm of books was lost on me. Names of people I would know about were as unknown as the behind of an outerspace alien. Point is, I’m reading these books in chronological order so as to better comprehend each book as the main thread of fate progresses forward.

I’m reading the second book right now, entitled, HUNGER ON THE CHISHOLM TRAIL, by M. Ennenbach.

Here’s what I can say about both of these books without spoiling much…

Fairly quick reads. I’m a slow reader and I finished The Magpie Coffin in one day. Four pages short of two hundred pages isn’t short, yet it’s not equal to say, watching the unedited edition film of Return of the King.

Both of these books don’t waste much time. Both authors prose are entertaining to the point that the story can really draw you in. I mean I lost track of time reading The Magpie Coffin, I was fully immersed in the story, invested emotionally in the characters. Loathed other characters. Felt some fear, some reverence for the unknown spirit realm. Lots of good stuff going on in my opinion- and yes, I’m biased of the Wild West, and the pioneer days out on the North American frontier. The main “good stuff” is these stories are about cowboys and natives. Void of technology or motor vehicles, riding horses and six shooters. Archers. It was not a time when Americans had modern technology. Plus the magic was more fluid in my eyes. Old western stories with guts and blood, thus, Splatter Westerns.

The horror is set in the pioneer days of the U.S., which isn’t something I see a whole lot of elsewhere. The mythos of these stories is so cool. Reminds me a bit of The Dark Tower series. Old Clint Eastwood flicks when he played a legendary rider on his pale horse, and don’t forget ole Outlaw Josey Whales.

I grew up in Arizona, for what that’s worth. Go to the right places you’ll see modern day cowboys, modern day natives. It’s still alive, in a sense: just different as time changes things, and people go on in new ways. I’ve been friend to different Native Americans. I’ve drank beer with cowboys. And yes I’ve been atop a horse a few different times.

I’m not here to preach this way was better. Or that you need to saddle up and ride. It’s just in my bones and my soul. I’m fond of the old West, of days when things were different. Before Industrialism became a thing with the birth of the railroads. All things serve a purpose. I’m content with how life is today. The modern world. What I want to say is, I really enjoy Western Fiction stories.

I plan to research some and read older works about these days, read some more fiction and non-fiction surrounding the pioneer days of the U.S. Learn more about the history of America. I’ve always been a fan of studying and learning historical facts, and observations of what was going on in the past.

Part of why I think I enjoy these stories by Death’s Head Press is because life was definitely much more trying back then. It helps me realize, hell- these characters made a way to keep going. I can too. And along the way maybe some crazy shit will happen, just like in these stories of make-believe.

See ya next time folks.

-Philip Webb

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