Los Poncheros

Read Los Poncheros, the graphic novel, for free here: losponcheros.com Los Poncheros cover

The racially diverse members of an outlawed gang find themselves on opposing sides of a conflict in a turbulent Western territory. The former friends must choose between their old ideals of cooperation and diversity and the current ideals of individualism, greed, and segregation.

Los Poncheros is a multi-issue story about a diverse group of American West explorers that takes place in the mid to late 1800s.  They are called Los Poncheros because of the unique ponchos they wear.  Among the group, there are Black, White, Mexican, Asian, Russian, and even a Quaker Ponchero, who would shoot not to kill.  They gain fame for their early adventures and discoveries only to lose it all when they try to form a breakaway republic during the chaos of the American Civil War.

The story revolves around the three main members of Los Poncheros.  It interweavers their past lives as a brotherhood of explorers and founders of a breakaway republic with their current condition as aimless outlaws trying to survive in a hostile territory.  In the present story:

LEW DANG, the Asian Ponchero, is spared the gallows by Territorial Governor GEORGE HOMINY, a paternalistic bible thumper, who wants to be the “Moses for all the races.”  In return for his pardon, Dang must be the governor’s integration czar, enforcing his anti-discrimination edicts. This is a dangerous job in the casually violent and racist Guachiman Territory.  Hominy wants Dang to show Blacks, Hispanics, and Indians how to live peacefully amongst their White brothers and sisters just like the Yellow man.

CHARLIE DART, the Black Ponchero, relies on his waning reputation and musical hamboning skills to eke out a living in the Black slums of Quivira. When PAPPY CUSS, an immoral White businessman has Dart’s son kidnapped, Dart is forced to help him remove his Black neighbors from their lands so that investors can exploit the rich silver veins that lay beneath.

TURBIN CORBETT, El Colorado Ponchero, known for his flaming red hair and flaming red temper, is slowly losing his mind when MOSES RUFF, an opportunistic Black businessman seeks Corbett’s help in provoking White flight in the boomtown of Copper City under the guise of freeing newly emancipated Blacks from their servitude.   

Their disparate missions will put them on a collision course.  Will they decide to join forces to overcome their predicament or will they succumb to self-interest and destroy each other?  Will they honor their old ideology of Poncherismo, which celebrates respect for all or will they be enticed by unrestrained individualism?

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