This is a review for the entire Hotblood! webcomic because it’s the type of thing you can easily read in one sitting and because it’s sold as an omnibus.
So the first and most important thing… a centaur main character! A gay centaur main character! A gay centaur main character in the Old West! Whaaaaaaaat? I know, right? You don’t see that every day. And the centaur thing did end up being pretty neat, even though it was treated in a very non-magical, “this is normal” way. I loved when James would lay on his back and his horse legs would be all up in the air lol. It was also cute how Asa would lean on him when they were standing and sitting; the relationship in general between the two characters was cute too at times, and it was neat seeing the human body and horse body interacting (there was no sex though, at least not in the webcomic version). And it was just cool seeing how the centaurs did things in general, like how they would lie down on the floor to be at the right level while humans would sit in a chair, or how James would sometimes sleep by lying the horse part of his body down on the floor but leaning his head over on a couch.
As for the artwork, it was in full color, and the color palettes used were absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never been so obsessed with or cognizant of colors in a comic before. (It wasn’t the same palette throughout, it was different from page to page, depending on the setting, the time of day, etc., but all of them were gorgeous.) And sometimes the compositions were really pretty and interesting too—not just simple blocks of pictures but a good use of the comic medium to do some visually fun things. The landscapes were gorgeous too. I even liked the straight-edged, artsy word bubbles. Basically I liked a lot of the artistic choices and thought this was a beautiful comic to look at.
I was, however, sometimes confused about things that were happening, the passing of time, and characters’ emotions. I’m still not sure when the relationship between James and Asa started. It wasn’t a bad story though—just a bit confusing at times. And I will admit this was the first Old West story I had ever read.
But still, a centaur! And gorgeous, interesting artwork. I enjoyed reading, and especially looking at, this little comic.
*Note: This review is based on the webcomic. Other formats may have differences I am not aware of.*
Anyone who likes visually interesting and beautiful comics, the Old West, M/M, and centaurs.
You Can Also Find My Review Here:
“Hotblood!” follows the adventures of James Evander Leicester Rook (a total washout Civil War vet who happens to be a centaur), Asa Langley (America’s most irreverent steel industry icon and Rook’s employer), and a great deal of money. The year is 1871.
Book Author: Toril Orlesky
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical Fantasy, LGBTQIA, Webcomic, Western
My Rating: 3.5
Series/Standalone: Standalone within a Series