Southern Bastards Vol. 1 by Jason Aaron, Jason Latour (2014)


L: 7.5/10

M: 8/10

Analysis from a dream of going to sleep and dreaming of sleep:

I have come to expect great things from every Image Comics title I crack open. This one does not fail to disappoint. The grunginess of the deep south bleeds into these pages. Each panel shines through a perfect filter for the grime in which this story uncoils.

The story begins as a run of the mill revenge story. A man looking for answers starts knocking on doors and turning over rocks in a place where the doors have remained locked, and the keys have been hidden away under those very rocks. Even the protagonist seems to know how this tale is going to go. A secretive narrative bookends the violent action, finally paying off in a great twist ending for the first volume. The ending really could shake up the direction in which the next issues unfold.

There is something quite rewarding about blunt force trauma. Especially when it comes in the form of a magical bat carved from Zeus himself out a graveyard tree. Several times though, the violence takes a step back and is artfully sliced up with the backstory and other scenes when I wished the wood to bone and blood to pavement would take center stage. The art is beyond perfect for the tone and region. Jason Latour does a great job making you absolutely hate the villainous football team, coaches, and town folk that stands in the lead character’s way. His art, along with Jason Aaron’s storytelling, is as perfect a match as Fried Apple Pies and a plate of ribs.

Analysis from a cajun belle who paints her own shoes:

I feel I have redeemed myself from the Oaf disaster with this pick. As a southerner, I was attracted to this work, and I stand by my choice. The story is easy enough to follow along with, but I’m not bored at all. As with all works in this genre, I cannot stand behind it unless the artwork stands out to me. This artwork is impeccable, and it took me much longer than necessary to read it because I stopped on every page to dissect the illustrations. The story of a man who has returned home to briefly pack up his old house after his uncle was put into a home only to discover the town is in a mess of trouble seems easy enough, but there are some kinks thrown in to change it up. The story and visuals are better than standard and less than perfection, but in all, I would certainly recommend it. Also, to those yankees who have read it, it isn’t far from the truth in regards to how a small southern town runs. Southern towns are full of charm and secrets, as well as an unnatural obsession with local sports and God-like worship for those who hold the key to championships. We also say y’all, cook some mean ribs and will bash your head in while saying, “bless your heart.”

Jason Aaron

Jason Latour

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