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‘The Sheriff’s Whore’
The Painted Ladies of San Quentin by David Paul and Jason Lenox with Joe Freistuhler


The feature comic in Ugli Studios #2, ThisIsUgli.com, 2013, with lettering by Dave Sharpe and Kevin Truglio editing

The Painted Ladies of San Quentin is set during the California Gold Rush in 1850. This is an interesting period for adventure fiction as you had ‘Californios’, natives, Chinese and Russians all mixing under the new Anglo-American overlords. In the 1970s, Tom Laughlin, star of the counter-culture martial arts flick Billy Jack, starred in a movie titled the Master Gunfighter. Another movie that covered the era was Pale Rider with Clint Eastwood. Other than Sitka and The Californios by Louis L’Amour, there has been little adventure literature dedicated to his very interesting place in time. As I have just gotten into comics, and can’t stand superheroes, I am on the lookout for historic settings, and this fit the bill.

The Sheriff’s whore, Jessica Belmont, wants minister-gunfighter Elijah Holman dead. I joked with Jason after purchasing this volume that he really creeped me out with the appearance of Jessica. She looks just like this psychobitch ex-girlfriend of mine who actually hunted me through the streets of Baltimore for months! I get a chill every time I peruse his ruthlessly sexy rendering of this female criminal. I can’t give away much more of the story without ruining it.

I really like the way the notorious Californio [indigenous Hispanic] gang of El Alacran is presented. The gang is presented in a body with their names lettered across the large panel, giving the impression of a wanted poster.

It is also refreshing that the men are ugly and the women skanky, rather than looking at another comic book batch of beautiful heroes and villains. The period clothing and weapons were nicely done, the muted colors appropriate to the story, and the shortage of characters flying through the air and not spraining their ankle refreshing.

I will definitely be looking for more in this series from Ugli Studios. For more on Ugli Studio projects checkout Jason’s link on our network page.

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