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Review: Southern Bastards Vol 1

Southern Bastards Vol 1 by Jason Aaron(Author), Jason Latour(Illustrator)

Earl Tubb is an angry old man with a very big stick.

Euless Boss is a high school football coach with no more room in his office for trophies and no more room underneath the bleachers for burying bodies.

And they’re just two of the folks you’ll meet in Craw County, Alabama, home of Boss BBQ, the state champion Runnin’ Rebs and more bastards than you’ve ever seen.

A Southern fried crime comic by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour

Southern Bastards is on the Best Of lists of quite a few places and I can see why. It’s a very tight and solid narrative and the art is gorgeous; visceral even.

I’m not as taken with it, but it’s hard for me to explain why. Maybe because it failed to surprise me in any way, always calling its shots and setting up the next beat in the narrative. It reminds me a bit of the Demo series by Brian Wood, but that was back in 2003 and now it’s 2014.

Anyway, I don’t want to talk shit about the book just because it feels vaguely familiar. There’s good stuff here and I suspect the series will take off with the next few issues. Perhaps Earl Tubb’s story was a bit too archetypical for my taste, but I’m looking forward to see what happens in Vol 2.

If you’re into that whole Southern Rural Noir stuff (True Detective, maybe?), this might scratch that itch. It’s certainly southern as hell.

3.5 out of 5 Big Sticks.

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