Nate Garcia’s “Alanzo Sneak” : Today’s Discerning Cowboy Wears Tennis Shoes

Any way you slice it, Philadelphia cartoonist Nate Garcia’s Alanzo Sneak is an impressive package — richly drawn, published in an oversized magazine format by your friends and mine at Strangers fanzine (who, it has to be said, are absolutely killing it since venturing into the world of comics publishing), and thoroughly conceptualized, this is a comic that fires on all cylinders and bears all the hallmarks of autuer work, with production values to match the quality of its visual storytelling. From the minute you see those “Ben Day Dot”-style cover colors accentuating the absolutely wild sense of proportion Garcia brings to his titular protagonist, you know you’re in for a wild ride that engages both eyes and mind. I honestly have to ask myself : how can this guy only be nineteen years old?

Maybe he’s just a quick study, or maybe he’s some kind of prodigy, but whatever the case may be, if Garcia is well and truly just getting started, then we’ve got a lot to look forward to. His self-published solo anthology Hornrim — where the character of Alanzo Sneak debuted — showed hints of an emerging talent finding his way forward on his own terms entirely, but now that he’s zeroed in on one idea and made a “proper” full-length story out of it, his confidence in his craft is really hitting its stride.

The other thing about Garcia’s work that I really appreciate, as the page reproduced above clearly demonstrates, is that he’s not afraid to “go there.” This is a fucked up comic. Sneak’s tennies double as a weapon and all-round utility kit, leading to some wonderfully comic moments, but there’s a fair amount of twisted shit happening too, from grotesque OTT violence to horse-meat consumption to a (hopefully) unrequited love affair between man and beast that’s funny in that “shower your conscience after laughing” sort of way, a lot of what goes on here is just, well — off, in the way that the best of the undergrounds were. This ain’t for everyone by any stretch, but the depraved troglodytes it is for — this critic included — are going to like what they find here a hell of a lot.

And honestly, what’s not to love? Garcia brings the goods in every panel, and there’s no slack in his act. He matches the sensibilities of classical satirical “cartoony” art with a distinctly modern flair for an entirely unforced timeless look that’s reflected in his comic’s subject matter — sure, it takes place out west, but how “old” this west is remains a very open question. The trappings of modernity are right there at the margins, sometimes even front and center, but at the same time the dialogue and overall tone of the proceedings is straight out of the late 1800s — except they didn’t even have such things as sneakers back then, did they?

Ah well, I shan’t waste much time pondering specifics that are inexplicable on their face, nor should you. The order of the day here is morally-questionable fun, and there’s so damn much of it on offer that you won’t slow down to puzzle over it in any appreciable way until you’ve made it to the end. Not that you’ll want this comic to end, mind you — and certainly the barn door is left wide open for more adventures with Alanzo and his four-legged friend Sheena, so let’s all hope that they’re in the offing. There’s simply far too much territory left unexplored for this to be a one-off.
In any case, whether Garcia makes more or not is his call, but I’m (obviously) down for it if he does. This is a monumental leap forward for a cartoonist who was already doing solid work. Whatever trail he blazes next is one you’ll absolutely want to follow.

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Alanzo Sneak is available for $10.00 front the Strangers fanzine website at https://strangersfanzine.bigcartel.com/product/alanzo-sneak-by-nate-garcia-strangers-presents

Review wrist check – Formex “Essence” brown dial chronometer model, on bracelet.

4 thoughts on “Nate Garcia’s “Alanzo Sneak” : Today’s Discerning Cowboy Wears Tennis Shoes

  1. Pingback: Heavens to Murgatroyd – This Week’s Links - Avada Classic Shop

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