Along the Canadian River--the largest tributary of the Arkansas River--apparently. When you can't figure out the title even after reading the comic, that's a bad sign.
The art is another odd thing about the series. It's sort of a cross between wide-eyed manga and old-style woodcuts. It looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie.
Anyway, here's the scoop on this series:
Xeric Grant Winner Publishes 'Along the Canadian'
Writer/Artist Joel Rivers, after receiving the prestigious Xeric Grant for comics self-publishing in Fall 2003, invites you to go out West via the subconscious.
Recasting the Western as Comic Book, Along the Canadian is a tale of bad men, vengeful ghosts and a scruffy Sheriff caught in the middle.
Part of a 6 issue mini-series, Issue #1 is a western-style ghost story combining researched historical facts with purely fictional characters. The protagonist, Sheriff “Red” Johnston, is a stubborn, honorable man who believes that the Law can enact justice in a land filled with violence and greed. His three deputies seem standard western posse-men, but have the long shadows and bloody footprints of the real men that “won” the West. The Natives, far from being easily bribed with glass beads, are survivors that have consciously avoided civilization.
Johnston’s Nemesis, the horse thief “Neargasaw” Fred--a white man adopted by the Creek Tribe--is the only person who has the answers the Sheriff needs. Their verbal and physical duel, waged as men of opposite moralities, is not “good” verses “evil” but more like “respectable” verses “unsavory.”
I've read only #5 of the six-issue series, so I can't say for sure what it's about. But here's the plot:
A sheriff arrives at a mission school in Talequah, Oklahoma. He's looking for a son he fathered with a Native woman but never knew. A nun points out the boy, but the sheriff decides his son is better off without him.
The sheriff departs and the son follows him into the woods. There they're captured by a gang of crooks led by an Indian named Gutter. (Gutter appears to be an Injun Joe-style thug, unfortunately.) The gang quarrels over their captives and the boy learns the sheriff is his father.
A posse of marshals bursts in and begins shooting. The sheriff sends his son to safety on a horse. The boy rides all the way to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he tells the townspeople what happened. A couple of them recognize the sheriff's horse and vow to help him.
And...that's it. Presumably the story concludes in the next issue.
Fans of the series are in luck, because it's now available online. According to a press release:
Xeric-Winning mini-series now on WOWIO.COM
Along the Canadian is a tale of bad men, outlaws and lawmen both, vengeful ghosts, immortal hillbillies and a scruffy sheriff and his friends caught in the middle. The setting is the famed Canadian River in Oklahoma Territory, where Belle Starr roamed, famous for outlaws and bloody feuds.