When I think of Cullen Bunn I think of three things:
1. "Formerly the World's Youngest Hypnotist" (... yeah).
2. The really funny story about when he worked for the Fantasy Shop and was called to the old Saint Charles location by the cops when the security alarm went off in the middle of the night.
3. I can't imagine what it must be like inside the head of a guy who can craft complete worlds with such seeming ease.
One of Cullen's greatest strengths as a writer is that when you read his works you feel like the world is complete, from the ground up, you imagine that he knows the name of all of the characters who wander past in the background and that each of them has their own stories and that one day they might just become the focus of the story and you'll wonder how you never noticed them before. That is the kind of writer that Cullen is though, he crafts these complex and complete worlds and by the time you're finished reading the first issue of his most recent yarn you can't help but want to know everything there is to know about the nooks and crannies of the little lived in world to which he's just finished introducing to you.
It certainly doesn't hurt that he's got the partner in crime that he does. Brian Hurtt has a longer tenure in the comics industry (and if you haven't read his collaborations with Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis or the criminally under-read and underrated Hard Time from DC/DC Focus then you should do yourself the favor and check them out as soon as is humanly possible) but you can tell when he works with Cullen that he does so with the energy of someone who is working on their very first comic, the excitement is clearly visible on the page (and when you're drawing as many characters who wear suits and ties as wander around in a Cullen Bunn penned story you'd better be pretty excited about it). This is also some of the best work of Brian's career as he has really honed in on the character designs, layouts, emotive quality of his characters, and the general cartooning overall.
But enough about the creators of this work, let's talk about the book itself. Sixth Gun takes place in a Magical American West that we all might wish had been. Enchanted guns, truly mystical tarot decks, undead Generals, haunted gallows tree, and more than you could even imagine. If you tell me that the Pinkertons are going to appear in a comic then you've immediately got my attention but in this book they are more than just a private policing agency, they're so much more. Honestly the book was just incredible, and there is so much about the pacing and the writing and the way that the pages lead you into the next that made me really excited as I was reading this book.
I honestly think that it is probably the duo's best collaboration to date and considering how big a fan of The Damned that I am that is really saying something. It is just a really well crafted story with bits of Cullen's creepy imagination right alongside Brian's great eye for detail. Everything from the characters to the logo feels like it wasn't so much created as found and communicated to us by master story-tellers. I honestly think that this is going to be one of the biggest hits that ONI has had in quite a while and seeing it all in color (and don't even get me started on how great the colors are) will have fans rushing back to the store to get issue #2 when it comes out in July.
But if you want to talk to the creators themselves then you need not wait too much longer as they will be signing at the Fantasy Shop in South County on Wednesday May, 5th, the Wednesday after Free Comic Book Day! So make sure that you have your copy of Sixth Gun #1 and be ready to jump in with both feet into one of the most surprisingly enchanting comics of the year.