More often than not, I use the On The Cheap column to recommend some buried treasures from the world of superhero comics, but this time, we're going to something a little different: The Leg, an original graphic novel from Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta that weaved a magical realism tale of Santa Anna's severed leg returning to life and journeying across Mexico in 1938 on a mission of revenge. And if that sounds weird, well, it is.

Sharp-eyed readers may remember that it was originally published after being funded by a Kickstarter campaign, and that it ended up being one of my favorite offbeat graphic novels of 2014. And now, thanks to IDW's "Strange Tales & Deviations" Sale, you can grab it for four bucks this week.


The Leg, Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta


Here's the basic idea: In 1838, General Antonio López de Santa Anna was struck in the ankle by a cannonball, which required the amputation of his leg. Being slightly theatrical, Santa Anna ordered that his leg be buried with full military honors. Eventually, after the people of Mexico rebelled against Santa Anna, the leg was dug up and then lost to history. That's not the magical realism part. That's something that actually happened.

The magical realism comes a hundred years later, when Jensen and Pimienta tell the story of how the Leg gains sentience and sets off on a journey across Mexico, a silent protagonist with buckles and tassels that serve as a head and arms and allow it a little bit of emotion. And yes: There is a story where it fights off a gang of toughs using a soccer ball as a weapon.

It's unlike any other story that you're likely to read, even if you're familiar with Jensen's other work on high-concept books like Pinnocchio: Vampire Slayer and an obscure superhero title called, I believe, The Green Lantern. It's well worth picking up, and at more than 50% off of its usual cover price, now is the time to grab it if you don't have it already.


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