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The True Death of Billy the Kid
The True Death of Billy the Kid

The True Death of Billy the Kid


56 Pages, 8 x 10

Formats: Cloth, PDF

Cloth, $15.99 (US $15.99) (CA $20.99)

Publication Date: March 2018

ISBN 9781681121345

Rights: WOR X UK

NBM Publishing (Mar 2018)

Price: $15.99


One of the great folk legends of the Wild West, William H. Bonney went from cowboy and rancher's gunslinger to a pure outlaw, forever dodging justice in New Mexico before it was even a state. On the one hand, he was charming, fun-loving, often present at social events, quite appealing to the ladies. Also conversant in Spanish, "Billito" was popular with the Spanish speaking crowd. On the other hand, he had no compunction to coldly kill a man, a sheriff, a deputy—anyone who got in the way of his rustling cattle or horses for an illicit living. He also proved hard to keep in jail once he was caught. It is probably his daring escapes from jails that made him most famous, and this is the main subject of this biography, which traces his story up through his death by a gunshot in the pitch darkness, fired by lawmen obsessed with getting rid of him. 


"Geary coaxes out the human side of the larger-than-life figure: the troubled criminal, the angry young man, the charismatic antihero loved by the locals (including local women) [and] makes his story feel fresh." —Publishers Weekly

"5 stars! Those who are interested in tales of the Wild West will find plenty to enjoy here, and the book is even a good pick for students, as Geary's account is both economical and factual." —Brigid Alverson,

"Billy's life and, particularly, his violent death have been the subject of innumerable films and songs, most of which romanticize the desperado. Geary's 'true death' sets the record straight in an admirably unsensationalized fashion." —Gordon Flagg, Booklist

"[part of] a slowly accreting magnum opus, a life's work of capturing society's weird dark substructure." —Jason Michelitch, The Comics Journal

"I've said before that Rick Geary is a national treasure, and he proves it again with The True Death of Billy the Kid." —Andrew Smith, Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Syndicate

"The story of 'the boy chief of New Mexico outlaws' is ultimately enhanced by Geary's thoughtful art, which joins the compendium of dime novels, ballet, films, and songs that have long acknowledged the Kid's baffling legacy." —Patricia Lenihan, Santa Fe New Mexican

"A brisk and wonderful read." —Derek Faraci, Comic Book Resources

Author Biography

Rick Geary is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator who has been published by Marvel Entertainment Group, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Heavy Metal magazine, Rolling Stone, National Lampoon and the New York Times Book Review, to name a few. He is the author of the long running A Treasury of Victorian Murder series and the Treasury of XXth Century Murder series. Rick has received the Inkpot Award from the San Diego Comic Convention (1980), the Book and Magazine Illustration Award from the National Cartoonists Society (1994), and multiple nominations for various Harvey and Eisner Awards. From Wichita, Kansas, he now lives in Carrizozo, New Mexico, with his wife, Deborah.