Jimmy Thomas is the star of the Electric Rodeo! At least that’s the story he keeps telling himself. The truth is he’s mostly washed up and has a bad reputation as a party boy. The same day Jimmy takes a bad fall during his big act he learns his father has been hospitalized. Now Jimmy finds himself at a crossroads. Will he return home or will he drink the night away in the arms of another man?
Self indulgence has been Jimmy’s creed since he left his family home years ago but that night there’s something different. Is it the pointed interview questions of a cute reporter from a local media outlet or something “bad in the air” nagging at his conscience? Whatever the reason is, by morning Jimmy has made the decision to stop “shoveling shit” and make the trip home.
Trick Pony is a hero’s journey tale with Jimmy literally starting the adventure riding his beloved horse Emmylou, his only true and constant friend all these years. There are no gallants in peril, let alone damsels in distress, for Jimmy to rescue because Jimmy is rescuing himself. Physical danger and temptation are essential to the Hero’s Journey and here Lockard blends standard Western components with supernatural elements to pose as dangerous trials and temptations to test Jimmy’s resolve as painful memories resurface exposing the choices he made to cover up the anguish of his teenage broken heart.
Anna David brings Lockard’s script with its fairy tale qualities to life. A buoyant gestural quality animates David’s contour line work. Whether muted or vibrant, her choices in color palettes expressively highlight the tone of a scene. Further complementing the fanciful aspects of the story is her decorative treatment of color. Rounding out the graphic novel is a section with David’s character studies, process work, and other behind the scenes material including Gattoni’s logo designs. A dozen variations show how a simple design element can help to set the tone of a book. You can view sample pages here.
At its core Trick Pony is about young love, finding peace with oneself, and making dreams come true. Having faced his fears and reconciled with first love Zeke, Jimmy’s story ends on a happy note. Not so much an ending as a pause before beginning a new and promising chapter in life.
Find Trick Pony exclusively at Comixology. The graphic novel is free to read for Amazon Prime members.