Long Live the South: Should You Be Reading ‘Southern Bastards’?
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there’s so much to choose from that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
Southern Bastards focuses on the men and women living in a small Southern town where high school football is religion, and the Coach is a capricious and cruel God. The violent and uncompromising Image Comics series is written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Jason Latour.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In Craw County, Alabama, crime and sports are hopelessly intertwined in the lives of every citizen. The de facto head of it all is Coach Boss, a ruthless man who basically runs Craw County, owns the Sheriff, and oversees all criminal activity with the same dedicated and ruthless vision that has made the Runnin’ Rebs --- the local football team of which he’s the Coach --- into champions. And as long as they're on top, most in the town are happy to look the other way.
Until Earl Tubb comes back to town.
Tubb left Craw County when he was still a young man, and is horrified to see what has happened following the death of his father --- the former sheriff of Craw County, who used a large wooden club (that he took to his grave) to keep law and order.
Following the murder of Dusty, a man who warned Tubb about the dangers of Craw County, Tubb decides he has had enough of what his old school nemesis Coach Boss has turned the County into. When lightning shatters the tree growing out his father’s grave, Tubb takes up a large wooden club and fights back. But his challenge for the soul of the county leads to a bloody mess that sends ripples through the community, bringing festering resentments to the surface. Now Earl Tubb's veteran daughter is coming into town to clean up some of that mess.
WHO'S IT BY?
Writer Jason Aaron is perhaps best known for his multiple acclaimed Marvel runs, including Original Sin, Doctor Strange, and multiple runs on Thor, including the one that introduced Jane Foster as Thor. He's also the co-creator of the long-running Vertigo series Scalped.
Artist Jason Latour is best known to superhero fans as the writer for the break-out Marvel hit Spider-Gwen, but his art credits include Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted, Daredevil: Black and White, and a guest spot on Scalped.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
A deep and unflinching examination of masculinity both good and bad in the South. Created by two Southerners, it doesn't traffic in stereotypes, but instead deals with the South as it is -- in all its glory and monstrosity. Southern Bastards manages to depict even the nastiest of acts beautifully.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
Southerners. Football fans. People who believe family runs deep and you can't always escape your hometown. Anyone who peaked in high school.
WHERE CAN I READ IT?
Available monthly on Comixology and in better comic stores. The first and second collected volumes are available now from bookstores and from Amazon. Volume three goes on sale July 16th.