Pulp Corner: Pilgrim
A month ago, I was reading an interview on Comic Book Resources with Simon Roy, the artist for Image Comics’ Prophet series. For the very last question they asked Simon what other projects he was working on. He mentioned something called Pilgrim and described it as “sort of a supernatural spaghetti western set during the crusades”. He certainly had my attention, so I followed the link from the article and was brought face to face with an illustration of a man who looked eerily similar to Clint Eastwood holding a flaming sword. I was sold immediately.
Pilgrim is the brain child of author, David Gaffney and artist Simon Roy. They’ve just put their finishing touches on an ashcan, their first entry into the series. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one and boy I was pleased that I did.
It’s pulp adventure at its finest. Taking place during the first Crusade our main character is known only as Pilgrim. The opening text tells us that at some point earlier our anti-hero reluctantly joined the Crusades and was the target of an assassination attempt by someone within the church. He was saved by a sorceress who had her own plans for him. He has been given certain powers but what exactly these are have yet to be revealed to the reader. Pilgrim is accompanied on his journeys by a middle aged washed up Hercules. Kevin Sorbo this ain’t.
The story included in the ashcan is brief due to the nature of its design but does an excellent job setting the table for a future series. In 12 pages we are able to get a handle on our two leads and also convey that there is history between them as well as a dark quotient in Pilgrim’s past. Our tale begins in 1176 with plunderers looking for artifacts from ancient Gods in an Egyptian temple. It immediately conjures up feelings and images of Indiana Jones and that’s never a bad a thing. Once the object of their search, the Eye Of Ra is secured we know it’s only a matter of time before all Hell is going to break loose. Word is sent to Pilgrim and a favor called in by a former friend and pretty soon he and Hercules are suited up and their quest has begun.
It’s a fun little story with enormous potential. I hope Pilgrim gets picked up by a publisher and we can see (at the very least) a miniseries. There’s a lot of story to develop and 12 pages can’t truly do it justice. Even in a time where shelves are full of pulp themed comics, Pilgrim stands out because it’s not another retread of The Shadow or Green Hornet. It’s the opposite end of the pulp spectrum. The creators describe it as “Indiana Jones meets Conan the Barbarian, directed by Sergio Leone”. Honestly, what more could you ask for?
You can follow Pilgrim’s progress and pick up the ashcan while it’s still available on their tumblr page. The guys also agreed to give away 10 copies of the pdf of the ashcan to the first 10 new followers on their tumblr that send David their contact info!
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