Have you ever heard of the Shaolin Cowboy series of comic books by Geof Darrow? If you answer “No”, then congrats, you were in the same boat I was. Fortunately, Dark Horse Comics is going to correct that with Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to be Kin.

What Is This Even?

"Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin #1" main cover art.
I swear, this looks like The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, but played for drama…I think. Main cover artist: Geof Darrow.

Dark Horse Comics (also reported by Gizmodo) is proud to announce the latest in the Eisner Award-winning Shaolin Cowboy comic book series: Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin. This will be a 7-issue comic book series by writer and artist Geof Darrow and colorist Dave Stewart. detailing the latest adventures of the titular Shaolin Cowboy himself. What is it, you might ask? Well, it’s a bit of a doozy. Dark Horse Comics’ official synopsis teases us about the frankly insane plot below:

“The latest installment in the Eisner-Award-winning Shaolin Cowboy seriesis set in Phase 4 of the SCU, where the Shaolin Cowboy finds his parenting skills being tested when he is forced to homeschool during a pandemic of unparalleled violence, in a story torn from yesterday’s viral twitter feeds. Can he get a kung fu grip on the situation before a horde of .45 loving human monsters and not so human monsters send him to the ICU? Only guns, swords, and flying guillotines will tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Dark Horse Comics will publish Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin #1 on May 18, 2022, so that’s when you’ll be able to read the insanity for yourself. Unfortunately, Dark Horse gives no details on how you can preorder it at the time of this writing. That’s something you’re going to have to wait for later.

Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin ~ Variant Covers Galore!

"Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin #1" variant cover A art.
Ah, yes, the giant enemy crabs of actual Japanese history…wait, is that a steampunk mechanical giant crab? Variant cover A artist: Mike Mignola.

That’s not all though. Dark Horse Comics is also announcing that they will have a massive lineup of variant covers for Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin when they publish them all. Even better, the variant covers are going to be by some rather notable artists, including the likes of Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and Frank Quitely (Jupiter’s Legacy).

"Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin #1" variant cover B art.
I’m not sure if I’m more confused by the attack kitty or the Komodo dragons more. Variant cover B artist: Alice Darrow.

You can find the full list of variant cover artists Dark Horse has lined up below:

Issue #1

  • Mike Mignola
  • Alice Darrow

Issue #2

  • Frank Quitely
  • Ed Piskor

Issue #3

  • Stan Sakai
  • Steve Skroce

Issue #4

  • Duncan Fegredo
  • Jim Rugg

Issue #5

  • Katsuya Terada

Issue #6

  • James Harren

Issue #7

  • Tsui Hark

Source: Dark Horse Comics, Gizmodo