Deconnick, K. S. (2014). Pretty deadly: The shrike (Vol. 1). Berkley, CA: Image Comics.
Pretty Deadly: The Shrike is rightly named. It is pretty and it is deadly. Death’s beautiful daughter, Ginny, is scarred with the Indian death mask which assures her passage into the afterlife. She seeks vengeance for anyone who sings her plaintive song. A man named Fox, who travels the frontier telling the story of Mason and his wife Beauty whom he locked in a stone tower. Beauty could not endure that prison and prayed for Death to come. Death came and made love to Beauty. He holds her today with him as their child rides across the lifescape in answer to her song. Fox, blind and scarred, has a companion in a little crow-feathered girl named Sissy. Sissy’s mystical dress is as mysterious as her remarkable eye colors. It is Deaths song they teach in the telling and one Sissy comes to sing herself. She is the Shrike that impales. Bunny narrates this story of Death’s daughter riding prettily across the frontier seeking her song to Butterfly. This narration of the story adds to the western genre appeal and gives its pace a rest, so the story can be absorbed. The artwork is enchanting almost haunting. The frames within the frames quickly angle perspective like a camera filming a scene. This opens the door to a new western genre. It may likely be or become the Lonesome Dove of the western graphic novel.