Love, Loss, The Handsome Family and Dan Berry shoots a bear….

Published On December 22, 2011 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

After We Shot The Grizzly

By Dan Berry (words by Rennie Sparks of The Handsome Family)

Okay. So, Dan Berry decides, just like that, to transcribe a song by alt-country band The Handsome Family into comic form. Comic folk can be strange, impetuous folk. Or, like Berry says on his website, October 5th:

“I began an impulse project yesterday that I hope to have finished in time for thought bubble next month. Here’s a sneak look at the titular first page. I’m rather enjoying it. I’m using the palomino blacking pencils with an ink wash. I want to keep this as simple as possible for efficiency’s sake.”

So, just over a month later, it’s done. Complete, finished.

“Based on the song of the same name by The Handsome Family, After We Shot The Grizzly is a sorrowful tale of loss, life and love. 32 pages printed on recycled paper.”

Here’s the first 8 pages…..

That’s the first verse covered. And a tale of love and loss set out quite beautifully. Lucky you, you’ve got the rest of the song to luxuriate in. Because that’s what you need to do here, luxuriate in the pages. Linger over the words, play them over and over. It’s a simple tale, as lyrical as you’d expect, seeing as it’s a song lyric, and you don’t get much more lyrical than that.

But what my scanner can’t get, sadly, no matter how many times I tried scanning, is the subtlety and textures on each page, and they really are quite lovely pages.

Here’s page 1 a little bigger…. about full size on a 20″ monitor….

For a whim, Dan Berry sure makes a gorgeous comic.

And of course, you will be wanting to read it alongside the music…. I know I did. Sing along….

After the airship crashed
After we lost the compass
After the radio went dead

We shot and ate the horses
We marched through deadly swamps
Inside a limestone cave
I found a human skull
Yes, Mary, I found a human skull.

The rest you can discover yourself. The video is below, but Dan Berry has made a beautiful accompaniment that add to the words, embelishes the music, gives it vision.

After We Shot The Grizzly is available to buy from Berry’s webstore.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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