Timothy Truman and his son Benjamin are storming out of the desert with a new Scout project. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Scout: Marauder, a Gen. 2 tale of dystopian America. I will kick.
The original Scout comic was groundbreaking back in the mid-’80s. It featured an Apache warrior and ex-Army Ranger named Emanuel Santana in a broke-down America. A badass Apache with an M-16 was irresistible. It was a rough and gritty tale in rough and gritty form, told by my kinda artist — a musician who grew up reading Robert E. Howard, a man deeply imbued with the frontier ethos, absorbed in his Appalachian homeland. Truman was riding the revisionist Western history trail — (he would produce an extraordinary sympathetic graphic novel of the life of the notorious frontier renegade Simon Girty), but there was none of the weepy, hand-wringing idealization so often associated with that territory.
Truman was simply telling stories that deserve to be told, of men who stood on their side of a cultural and historical line and defended their turf by any means necessary.
Truman’s aesthetic and outlook is right in the middle of the x-ring for me. It strums a deep, resonant chord — and always has. I will always be grateful that Deuce Richardson arranged for us to talk over the phone when Truman was the guest of honor at Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas, in 2013.
It was most gratifying to be able to tell the artist how much his work has impacted me. His book of short frontier bios Straight Up To See The Sky is a direct influence on Frontier Partisans.
Now he’s back in the world of Scout — along with his son Benjamin, who rode with him on the Western Horror tale Hawken (which I love).
The future: The land once known as America has spiraled into decay, devolving into a splintered collection of independent governments. In the Sonora Desert, a new regime has gained dominance: The Corporate Alliance of Southwestern States, led by oligarch Patricia Nevermore. Seeking to create an industrial empire, Nevermore has ordered all able-bodied citizens within Alliance-controlled territory to serve a year of public service in the government’s factories. Using bio-engineered tracking animals and up-armored MAG security robots, roving mercenary units round up holdouts and cart them to the Alliance’s industrial complexes. Thus far, only the hidden, self-sufficient farming community of Lapida has escaped their notice.
Then a mysterious, lone hijacker begins preying on Alliance supply convoys. The locals call this fleeting, ghost-like being “the Marauder”. Outraged, Nevermore orders her security forces into the desert to hunt him down.
But who is the Marauder?
Fifteen years have passed since Emanuel Santana–AKA Scout–set out with his two young sons on a journey across a shattered country. Branded a terrorist by some and a hero by others, Scout was finally ambushed and killed by government troops. Wounded during the battle, his oldest son, Tahzey, was rescued by one of Scout’s allies, militant missionary Rev. Sand Dog Yuma. However, Scout’s youngest son, Victorio, was never found and was presumed dead.
Now Tahzey is 20–a wandering scholar and grifter, possessing only a backpack full of memories and the black market cybernetic arm and eye that replaced those he’d lost when his father was killed. He avoids the use of guns, blaming them for all the misfortune that he’s seen in the world. Raised by Rev. Yuma and thus denied his father’s traditional Apache teachings, Tahzey tries to find his roots and a purpose in a ravaged world.
Running into trouble with authorities in Mexico, Tahzey flees north… and is unexpectedly reunited with the brother he thought was dead. Victorio has lived alone in the desert since his father’s death– a veritable feral child, living off the desert’s bounty and raiding Alliance convoys. How he managed to survive is a mystery. Yet he has… seemingly guided by Powers that only he can see.
After fifteen years of separation, Tahzey and Victorio Santana are all but strangers. Caught up in the flames of a desert conflict, they must learn how to become brothers again.
If this sounds like your kinda story, you can Kick In here.