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Finding peace in a violent world: Geof Darrow on Shaolin Cowboy’s eternal journey and cycle of violence

Geof Darrow on Shaolin Cowboy, his influences, and Komodo dragons

Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to be Kin
Image credit: Geof Darrow/Dave Stewart/Nate Piekos (Dark Horse Comics)

Geof Darrow has had, to say the least, a fascinating and varied career that stretches beyond the realm of comics. His genre-transforming work on The Matrix aside, he’s spent the better part of 15 years working as a writer/artist, primarily working on his opus, Shaolin Cowboy; a multi-volume series about the eponymous monk/cowboy who roams the lands while suffering the consequences of every wrong he’s righted.

Darrow is back with a new volume of Shaolin Cowboy — Cruel to Be Kin — which showcases his relationship with a young Komodo dragon as told by an older version of that same dragon many years later. It’s Mandalorian-esque, coming full circle as Darrow is now seemingly inspired by the more modern incarnations of the characters that inspired his creation in the first place, like Yojimbo and Lone Wolf and Cub.

For those familiar with Shaolin Cowboy, Cruel to Be Kin is more of what you would expect from the series at this point: it’s grimy, it’s violent, and it’s gorgeous. We spoke with Darrow about what inspired him to create this story, as well as his influences and his thoughts on the mysterious Shaolin Cowboy himself.

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About the Author
Hussein Al-wasiti avatar

Hussein Al-wasiti

Contributing writer

Hussein has been writing about comics for as long as he’s been reading them, since DC Rebirthed itself back in 2016. He’s primarily written for Comics Beat as a news writer and interviewer, and is a rotating member of the Marvel Rundown team. He has also written comics analysis for Comics Bookcase. He lives outside of Toronto with his cat and his unyielding, ever-growing comics collection that will outlive everyone he’s ever loved.