Hell Paso is a 188-page, standard size, full color graphic novel written and created by Jaime “Jimmy” Portillo featuring art and colors by Arturo Delgado, Daniel Morales, Adrian Dorame, Ricky Martinez, Chris Shehan, Javier Saltares, Rudy Vasquez, and Kate Finnegan. Published by Jimmy Daze Comics.
Back in the late 1800’s the small border town of El Paso, TX was a place where lawlessness and corruption were common. Recognizing the need for order, the town’s council hired an outsider known for his no-nonsense style of justice. This comic is about that story, the story of El Paso Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire and his violent struggle to tame the western town. The comic is told through a series of events that shaped the early history of El Paso and established its future. Each chapter of the story is backed up with reprints of historical newspaper articles about the events depicted. A special section included at the end of the story provides additional details on the characters, and explores what happened to them following the events of “Hell Paso.”
Jimmy Portillo has captured an authentic wild west atmosphere in the pages of Hell Paso. The writing sticks to historical facts with some embellishment for dramatic effect, but presents the overall story with a sense of realism that’s easy to relate to and get caught up in. Unlike classic westerns, Hell Paso doesn’t paint its characters as clearly good or evil, but rather as individuals each with their motivations, vices, and burdens. Jimmy also ties two of his other stories into Hell Paso through very subtle and clever twists. His urban legend story The Railroad Killer and his vampire tale Gabriel each figure uniquely into Hell Paso and bridge the three stories. The artwork equally captures an old west feel. Characters and backgrounds are drawn in somewhat elongated and stiff fashions with bold lines that echo back to woodcut prints of the time. The colors used are vibrant and warm, further conveying the heat and desert tone throughout the pages.
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