Noir, Old West meet in “Red Plains” comic
Writer Caryn A. Tate takes a noir-inspired trek through the Old West in “Red Plains,” a Web comic available via Graphic.ly and MyDigitalComics.com.
Tate aims for her Western to have an authentic flavor. Having grown up throughout the West, including spending time on a working ranch, Tate finds it difficult to stomach stereotypical Westerns.
“When we see cowboys in ‘Red Plains,’ they’re usually doing actual ranch work; people don’t have an endless supply of ammo, their horses get tired, violence has consequences, and there are no gunfights at high noon in the middle of the street,” she said in an interview with The Oklahoman.
The writer, who has lived in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana and Washington, said she spends extensive time researching period details for the late 1800s setting of “Red Plains.”
“The artists and I make a concerted effort to be as historically accurate as possible,” she said. “For the look of it, I give the artists a lot of reference material — descriptions, photos and illustrations — to pull from as they help construct a story line. From something as detailed as period-accurate weapons to more general things that I tend to take for granted (like cowboy hats or getting on a horse on the left-hand side, not the right), we put a lot of effort into making ‘Red Plains’ a world.”
The morals and attitudes of the period are reflected in the characters actions as well.
“The handling of suspects, attitudes about intimacy, and medicine were wildly different,” Tate said. “Those are things that not only add to the feel of our stories but also become springboards into other tales as well.”
“Red Plains” follows three families and the conflict among them.
“‘Red Plains’ is the story of a town that’s full of violence, lust and corruption,” Tate said. “It’s a realistic and authentic tale that is set in the West, in 1880 currently. It’s historically accurate while being exciting and dramatic.”
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