One of the most enjoyable online trends of the past year for those of us who love both movies and graphic novels has been the release of free, high quality supplemental comics that add to, not recap, the movie's story. The best of these so far has been the 'Inception: The Cobol Job' prequel comic, but the newly released 'True Grit: Mean Business' is no slouch, either.
Artist Chris Wildgoose says he was "pretty gobsmacked and giddy" when approached by Paramount to do a comic after he posted a sketch of Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn on his blog. "It all sort of happened quite quickly, within a week of being asked I was sat in the Paramount offices for a meeting with some more sketches and test pages and given a screening of the film! Then I was pretty much given the word go to do the whole thing."
'TG:MB' is more than just a fun, rewarding read. Yes, the art looks great, and the wide, horizontal panels work well for the digital medium, especially if you're trying to read it on a small monitor. But 'Mean Business' reinterprets Rooster Cogburn.
In the comic, he is introduced on the stand during the trial of Odus Wharton, the only member of the Wharton boys to survive the shoot-out with Cogburn and Marshal Potter. We follow Cogburn to the shoot-out, where he righteously kills Odus' two brothers; it's a complete depature from the scene in the Oscar-nominated movie where the fight occurs offscreen and Cogburn's version of events are depicted as possible lies.
The 24-page comic can be read for free on Comixology, and excerpt that features Rooster getting the drop on the Wharton boys awaits you after the jump. You can see more of Chris Wildgoose's work on his blog.
What do you think of this cleaner, less morally ambiguous version of Rooster Cogburn? Let us know in the comments.