The final couple of mini-reviews, again in order as read:
- Iron West
- Iron West was a brilliant steampunk western that had heart and fun and was just about everything you might expect of a good steampunk western.
- Black Cherry
- Honestly I was disappointed by Black Cherry. Doug warns readers of two possible sources of disappointment, and it wasn't really either that disappointed me. Black Cherry attempts to be an attempt at something of a gnostic Sin City... Mafiaso battling Constantine-style demons. The "Sin" moments feel forced and cliché (usage of curse words that seem obviously out-of-practice and just about stolen word for word from films), but are at least somewhat interesting, if unfortunately too clean artistically to be truly reeking of sin. The Catholic-flavored gnosticism doesn't bug me all that much. I've learned to stop being offended and instead laugh at the cute wishful thinking that decides that "knowledge of the Gospel" is all that it takes to stop a genocide... What bugs me is the too simple ending that ends with a bold invocation of word "Innocence" in a manner referencing the insipid cliché "innocence is bliss" (I could write a book on my thoughts on that subject...). Teach this outsider group the Gospel, but try not to teach them more than that, and envy the ignorance that once lead them to try to kill billions of people? Ugh. The ending monologue just about completely ruins an otherwise serviceable, if not much more than average, story. It has good intentions, but ultimately in the context presented it just pains me.