Weird West tales rarely get quite this weird. "Weird West", a take on the "Wild West," usually makes a fundamental level of sense. Take a standard Western scenario, throw in monsters or zombies, the Devil goin' down to Georgia, the Indian Love Call of Cthulhu, and you have a decent role-playing game or television show. The comic Fiction Clemens, written by Josh Wagner with art by Joiton, turns the whole frontier on its ear in a wibbly-wobbly world of clock-cities and cactus toothpick farms.
The story is a little complicated to try an recount here: a deadpan drifter by the name of Fiction Clemens gets caught up in a love triangle with Tiberius Kitchens, son of the Kitchens cactus toothpick tycoons, and falls in with a girl named Dune Trixie as they make their way back and forth across the plains avoiding hired guns, with a shadowy mysterious "Clockmaker" drawing together all the gears of fate. An imaginative cast of characters were developed for the three issue run of the series, sometimes sprawling out into an unintelligible breadth of storylines that eventually converge back into the singularity of the Clockmaker and his ultimate aim.
Where Wagner excels is not so much in keeping track of a sprawling cast and a bizarre plotline, but in writing up flavourful dialogue that makes Fiction Clemens such a joy to read. Accents are invariably complicated things to translate into text, yet Wagner puts in an admirable effort that is itself accented by the content of the discussions and invention of a slang vocabulary for these cowpokes and saloon girls. Whole pages are given over to hypnotic discussions on everything from Seinfeldian inanity to undergraduate philosophy.
The third issue of this series should be hitting stores this month and it is well worth picking up. Ape Entertainment is a smaller press publisher and Fiction Clemens may not be available straight off the rack. If not, ask for it. It's a Weird West tale out of left field that falls in step with some of the more original ideas in modern Scientific Romances. For more information, visit the official website at http://www.fictionclemens.org/.