Comic Books Magazine

Review: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1

Posted on the 28 April 2014 by Geekasms @geekasms

Southern Bastards from Image is written and drawn by a pair of Jason’s.  Aaron and Latour to be precise.  Both of them born in the South, which makes this book pretty darn personal for them.  Sure, the story itself may be fictional, but you can just feel their memories and experiences oozing from the pages.  At the end of the book, Jason Aaron talks about a childhood that isn’t that far off from my own.  Maybe that is why some parts of this book ring very true to me.  These people are real to anyone with the fortune or misfortune of knowing their real life counterparts.

The book starts out with a dog taking a crap in front of a trio of church signs.  Well, that’s not subtle at all.  We then move on to be introduced to Earl Tubb as he is driving back home to Craw County, Alabama.  A place he left behind over 40 years ago.  His moving truck might be empty, but he is carrying a whole lot of baggage.  His Daddy was Sheriff and is famous for beating off a pack of armed men with just a baseball bat.  It’s hard not to think of the movie Walking Tall at this point, but that’s not a bad thing.  Unless you think I’m talking about the remake with The Rock and then you just have my pity.  Sheriff Bertrand Tubbs became legend and Earl finds out that even 40 years later, legends have a habit of not dying.

Aaron is just going balls out with this book.  If he is holding anything back then I’m terrified of what else he might do.  It’s authentic, it’s relatable to anyone from the South, and he captures a part of the world that many people only see when the news covers a tornado destroying a trailer park.  Not to be outdone, Jason Latour destroys this book.  It is like stepping into the South.  One of the characters is sporting a sleeveless shirt with those zebra striped workout pants from the 80′s.  It’s so great.  Another one has a sunburned forehead, which might not seem like a big deal, but these are people that I still see on a weekly basis.  Those little touches brought the story to life and made me enjoy it even more.  Since he is also the colorist on the book, he uses that to also enhance the story.  The panels flashing back to Earl’s Dad are colored red and woven throughout the story.  In one particular panel, Earl tries to walk away from someone needing help and the coloring of the panel changes to red.  In that one panel, it showed that Earl truly is his father’s son.  All done with colors and mood, not words.  Truly great work.

I get a supernatural vibe out of a few things we see in this issue so I’m curious if some of that shows up or if I’m implanting that into the story myself.  In the end, I’m left wondering if the Southern Bastards in the title is referring to the characters or the creators.  Maybe a little of both.

Southern Bastards #1 hits stores this Wednesday 4/30 and has already sold out at the distributor level.  If you don’t have it on your pull list or buy it digitally, then you’ll be happy to know it is already going back for a second printing.

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