The Grave Doug Freshley

Overview

Douglas Freshley, a former schoolmaster, is hired by his longtime friend, Shane McNally, to tutor their rambunctious son, Bat. But when the Delancey gang raids the McNally ranch, killing all the adults, it's up to the corpse of Doug to rise up, protect Bat, and exact some good ol' frontier justice! Little does he know, however, that he's being stalked by the Deadliest Gun in the West (or anywhere) — the Grim Reaper, himself!

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Overview

Douglas Freshley, a former schoolmaster, is hired by his longtime friend, Shane McNally, to tutor their rambunctious son, Bat. But when the Delancey gang raids the McNally ranch, killing all the adults, it's up to the corpse of Doug to rise up, protect Bat, and exact some good ol' frontier justice! Little does he know, however, that he's being stalked by the Deadliest Gun in the West (or anywhere) — the Grim Reaper, himself!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mixing the western and living dead genres, Hechinger has created a graphic story that is not simply the clash of two genres but something altogether different. The story follows Doug Freshley, hired by his good friend, Shane McNally, to be a teacher and mentor to a young lad named Bat. When Freshley witnesses the murder of Bat’s parents at the hands of the Delanceys—a vicious family of thugs and lowlifes—he vows to fulfill Shane’s dying request to take care of Bat. The strange bit, of course, is that the attack on the McNally’s appears to result in Freshley’s death as well—except that it... doesn’t. As the living dead, Freshley does not conform to our expectations. He is not mindless or grotesque or terrifying (except to the Delanceys) but thoughtful and determined and of a mind to see that Bat’s well-being is looked after. The artwork by mpMann accompanies the narrative perfectly, capturing both the enigmatic character of Freshley and his relationship with Bat. Although there were many ways for Hechinger to steer the narrative toward a predictable ending, he manages to provide us with a resolution that is both satisfying and original. (Dec.)
Library Journal
The clichéd Western hero can't be bested in a gun battle, and neither can Doug Freshley—because he's already dead. Zombies don't usually get to play John Wayne, and in tapping the potential of the Undead for superheroics, Hechinger reverses a second cliché with a lighthearted touch. Freshley is a retired schoolteacher, hired to tutor mouthy young Bat McNally. Then the Delancey Gang kills Bat's parents and puts a bullet through Freshley's head, too. Our hero had sworn to protect Bat, and somehow that promise keeps him ambulatory. And even if rigor mortis slows down his quick draw, it does keep his shooting arm steady enough to serve up a little frontier justice to the wrongdoers. Later, Freshley must confront a challenge from the Deadliest Gun in the West: the Grim Reaper. VERDICT A spaghetti Western crossed with a zombie buddy story, Doug Freshley infuses new blood in genre stereotypes. Its quirky charm should appeal to teens through adults who like Westerns, soft horror, and original twists on old themes. mpMann (Ianna's Tears) uses a sketchy, sepia/daguerreotype-toned art that suits the story just fine.—M.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932386707
  • Publisher: Archaia
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Edition description: Young Adult
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,336,108
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Josh Hechinger's works include The Grave Doug Freshley, Bear Beater Bunyan, and Bouncing Off Clouds in Image's Comic Book Tattoo. He lives in Philadelphia. Also the author of The Lone and Level Sands. Marvin Perry Mann began his comics career inking The Trouble With Girls (Malibu Graphics). Other titles included Ape City, Lizard Lady and Flesh Gordon.

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