Jason Lenox stalked me over Facebook.
He’d found me through some sort of sleuthing, but I’m kind of glad he did. As a local illustrator, he sent me a PDF of his Ugli Studios Presents #1
so I could review it over at The Oracular Beard. I’m not a fan of
reading my books over the interwebs, but enjoyed it immensely, and
sought him out at Nittany Con, an itty-bitty convention about twenty
miles from my hometown.
Being a writer myself (Jason an illustrator—always looking for an in)
it was great to jaw about his work and not the least of which was his
convention upkeep and how he uses Kickstarter to fun his projects. It’s
always a nice feeling supporting a friend, so a hardcopy of USP #1 and
The Art of Jason Lenox were easy to walk away with.
Not to mention delusions of grandeur about one day getting my work out there.
And the fun didn’t stop there.
Jason had a new Kickstarter campaign starting up (Ugli Studios Presents #2) in which he was
illustrating David Paul’s The Painted Ladies of San Quentin. I eagerly
signed on for the appropriate level of hardcopy goodness and hunkered
down to wait.
I swear, every time a new page was finished, there was an email from
Lenox’s page ready to share. Things were looking good, but nothing
compared to having the final product in my hand. And oh, how it all came
Painted Ladies takes us back to the wild west of America 1850. What
looks straight from a Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Paul and Lenox ramp
up the action quickly as the sheriff’s whore puts a price on Elijah
Holman’s head. No use for the “Dead or Alive” shenanigans here, Jessica
Belmont would rather just have him dead, damn her conscience.
The use of sepia tone really gets the feel for the old West and the
flashbacks in black and white are a nice touch. The paneling is fun and
quite like something you’d expect from a Tarantino flick. Plenty of
action and memorable characters make the opening twenty-two pages legit.
The next six pages are a gem written and illustrated by Brian Allen.
The Courier delivers you right into the action with some guy keeping
this box away from some nasty-looking insectoid aliens. Nice
one-and-done story tucked away tight.
Thirteen is another six-page creep-fest with a dark, twisted feel
written and illustrated by Joseph Freistuhler. Has that Vertigo bend to
it that you’d find tucked away in an anthology. Could see this taking
off into something larger, along the lines of Fringe or The X-Files. You
can just imagine this oozing with history.
Great sophomore effort from the Ugli Studios team. Buy yourself some of his work here, or donate to his Kickstarter for the new black-and-white (un)Painted Ladies!
This article was originally published at Strip Tease.