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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Comic Review: Southern Bastards #1

Southern Bastards #1
Story By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Jason Latour
Cover By: Jason Latour
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $1.99
Diamond ID: FEB140475
Published: April 30, 2014

Welcome to Craw County, Alabama, home of Boss BBQ, the state champion Runnin’ Rebs football team...and more bastards than you’ve ever seen. When you’re an angry old man like Earl Tubb, the only way to survive a place like to carry a really big stick. From the acclaimed team of JASON AARON and JASON LATOUR, the same bastards who brought you Scalped and Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted, comes a southern fried crime series that’s like the Dukes of Hazzard meets the Coen Brothers...on meth.

I guess it ought to be a real big hint how the tone of this series is gonna be when the first panel to it shows a dog taking a dump in a ditch just outside of Craw County, the setting for this southern noir tale.

Earl Tubb has a Y'all Haul trailer hitched to his truck and a mind set of packing up his dying uncle's house. He's barely back in his old stomping grounds of Craw County when the memories of his ornery sheriff of a father are drudged up. It's been forty years since his father died, since he set foot in Craw County, and since gave a whit over the folks that still lived there. Like Dusty Tutwiler.

Earl barely gets reacquainted with ol' Dusty for five minutes before he finds himself dragged into an altercation with the Boss' goons. Earl isn't his father, who was one of those walk tall and carry a big stick types, but he does know how to do both apparently and manages to make himself some enemy's quick in the rural backwaters of the south.

If you enjoy southern-fried noir, this series shapes up pretty quickly in this inaugural issue as one to keep an eye on. I wouldn't exactly call it a love letter to the south, but it's not all violence and venom--just most of it. There are pockets of wistful remembrances of a quieter time, a humbler time, but the book helps to show that Chicago mobsters aren't the only ones out there trying to rule the roost.

Jason Latour's artwork offers up a weighty, rawboned portrait of the southern landscape and its residents. Rough around the edges and an even mix of beauty and beast on every page. With these two Jasons working together, I'm keen to see where this story leads.

4 1/2 Sheep

Gef Fox
Genre Mutt
Twitter (@wagthefox) / Facebook

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