Just in time for the holiday season – That Texas Blood returns for its annual Christmas issue. This one features creatures like a mummy sheriff and a dentally challenged vampire, which could only come from the mind of a child. It’s a welcome diversion and a great read.
How do you follow up the best story arc of a series whose numbers of issues is well into the double digits? Go in a completely different direction for an issue, while staying true to the characters and the overall vibe of the series. Oh, at set it during the holidays to tie into the season.
As has become its custom, That Texas Blood has returned with a special Christmas issue – a one-off story that provides a nice diversion from the longer, more involved stories that this creative team is known for telling.
This time, the action is provided by hero Sheriff Joe Bob Coates’s son Billy. Set on Christmas day, Billy regales his parents with a crazy tales of a mummy sheriff who has to rescue his mummy wife from an evil vampire (who has broken his canine teeth and is forced to suck blood through two bendy straws). Only from the imagination of a kid, right?
What does this have to do with the Red Queen Killer or any of the other antagonists from the other arcs? Absolutely nothing. And that’s the point. Writer Chris Condon is using this issue to take a breath – for the creative team as well as the audience – after treating us to a terrific story in the last several issues.
This issue is a departure for artist Jacob Phillips, who is clearly having fun with these undead baddies. Phillips nails the scary of the villains, while still clearly making them true to the idea that they sprang from a child’s mind. There’s one hilarious section where the mummy sheriff unwraps some of his bandages and lassos – Texas-style – the undead skeleton of a flying pterosaur to chase after the kidnapper.
The only downside to this issue is that it will have to hold us over for the next several months, while the creative team takes a much-deserved break. Hopefully they will be back in top form with a new suspenseful arc that scares us as much as a vampire with straws for teeth.
That Texas Blood #20 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.