Important Note Dept: As you can probably guess, I’ve been a bit busy with Real Life(TM) this summer, and while I’ve been productive at many things, I sure as hell have not been productive at blogging—I’ve been reading at a glacial pace, which caused my writing to lag as well since I need to, y’know, read things before I can review them. Rather than disappoint everyone with silence, instead I’ll just post reviews of things most of you don’t care about: graphic novel reviews and art posts! I have a bunch of short graphic novel reviews stockpiled on Goodreads and elsewhere, and some half-completed art posts I can finish up. What a time to be alive!
Where volume 1 dealt with Earl Tubb returning to Craw, Alabama, coming to terms with his past under his deceased father’s shadow, volume 2 follows a different path: Euless Boss, now “Coach Boss” of the Runnin’ Rebs football team, but once a sad-sack linebacker mocked by teammates (“Euless” becomes “Useless”). With the aid of the blind ball boy, Euless becomes a force to be reckoned with in the football field—and his deadbeat dad’s schemes pull him into the world of the Dixie Mafia. His rise in the football world coincides with his rise in organized crime, and by the end, he’s the most feared and respected man in town.
Along with Jason Latour’s gritty art and the series’ rich Southern atmosphere, characterization continues to be a standout element ofSouthern Bastards; I didn’t expect to sympathize with Coach Boss after his introduction in the first volume (especially after its double-whammy cliffhanger). But here I am, more aware and understanding of how a young football-minded teen could become a ruthless crime baron. I’m still not entirely sure what he’s a crime lord of, or what pies he has his fingers in, but his association with the Dixie Mafia is all I need to know for now.
I really like where the story is heading after these two volumes, and things are set up well for volume 3. This is a lush, gorgeous book with a lot of depth to its story, and if its style of Southern-fried noir sounds appealing I’d recommend you give volume 1 a try.
Do I recommend this/will I continue reading it?: Yes, I’ve already bought/read volume two and will continue to buy future volumes as they’re released.
Recommended for fans of: Scalped, Criminal, Loose Ends, that Rock movie Walking Tall, Joe R. Lansdale’s redneck noir novels.
Not recommended for readers who: don’t like violent/depressing reads; feel like they’ve been here and done that and don’t want to see another gritty take on Southern crime.
Title: Southern Bastards, Vol. 2: Gridiron
Author: Jason Aaron
Illustrator: Jason Latour
First Published: 2015
What I Read: Kindle/Comixology digital edition
Price I Paid: $3.99 (Kindle/Comixology sale)
MSRP: $9.99 tpb / $7.99 ebook
ISBN/ASIN: 163215269X / B015XDAG8E