In the world of comics at large – and I guess web comics in particular – there is a special grey zone. An area between the borders of ‘Child’ and ‘Adult’. In it you find comics that are like teenagers; they don’t really know what the hell they are, constantly switching from Donald Duck-like simplicity and naiveté with Tom and Jerry instances of absurd punching each other into coffee tables to dark, sexually laden and at times realistic violence with Sin City aspirations.
One such comic is Cowboy Henk, a Belgian web comic by Kama & Sele. Well, except for the fact that Henk seems to spend most of his time being both places at once.
Take his attempt to kill himself by blowing his brains out. There is no explanation as to why Henk has had enough of living in the land of pastel coloured comics, but maybe ‘pastel’ is enough of an explanation…I think yes.
Anyway, Henk decided to end his life by putting a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Now imagine his surprise, when the shot doesn’t kill him.
Not one to be perturbed by a little adversity…or scratch that, he is trying to off himself after all…not one to take no for an answer, he fires again. Again, no dying. So, just to make sure, he fires the gun a final, third time and drops down dead, revealing that the three shots through his skull have resulted in a happy face in his neck. A weird twist on the old saying about making you smile on the other side of your face, I guess…
This sort of mixing absurd (throwing a woman off the train who vehemently protests ‘but I’m the father of seven kids’), childlike profane with the weird sex found in images of Hank sneaking up behind another man on the street and putting his flaccid member in his hands, to then be punched to the ground seems to me to be the order of the day for his creators.
If you want a chance to judge for yourself, you can find a series of images here.