• Southern Bastards #19

    Southern Bastards #19
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: January 24th, 2018.
    Writer: Jason Aaron
    Artist: Jason Latour
    Purchase From Amazon

    “Coach Boss has settled the war with his rival in Locust Fork, Colonel Quick McKlusky. But Coach had to eat shit to do it. And there’s plenty more shit where that came from.”

    The big game is on and Boss is pissed that Materhead is nowhere to be seen. They figure McKlusky might have something to do with this – at least assistant coach Esaw does, but when he mouths off about the defense playing like bitches because they all saw McKlusky hand it to him, well, there’s a knuckle sandwich in order.

    Sheriff Hardy watches from under the bleachers, laughing at Boss who is quickly running out of friends. When Ms. Compson shows up they talk, she trusts him even if she shouldn’t. The share a drink from his flask and then they make out – she instigates it – as someone smokes a cigarette and watches from the shadows.

    During the half time break, McKlasky himself pays a visit to Boss in the locker room. He wants to talk to Boss about money, to compensate for damages done to Lightning Auto Sales. The next batch? Some of it might go to the family of Theron Goode, but not this batch. Boss hands him the suitcase, McKlasky opens it… and it’s full of dog shit. One swift club to the head and McKlasky goes down, his pet monkey is next. When McKlasky’s body goes flying into the locker room full of players, Boss uses this fight as a motivating speech! Esaw is sent off to deal with the body… and then Roberta shows up with a machine gun.

    DAMN! This one hits hard. Well, every issue of Southern Bastards seems to hit hard but this one especially so. Roberta’s story is shaping up to be an interesting one but really, this is as much about Boss as it is about her trying to get payback for what he did to her father Earl so many issues back now. It’s tough stuff: violent, gritty, nasty, earthy… and oh so Goddamn compelling. Great writing on the part of Jason Aaron, who gives the characters in this book an authenticity that goes a long way towards making them as interesting as they are. You get the impression that he writes what he knows and then some. The story unfolds at a deliberate pace, no one is rushing here, but the suspense in the last few pages of this issue is pretty much off the hook and it ends with one serious cliffhanger.

    Jason Latour’s artwork is moody, atmospheric and unique. It stands out. He very much has his own style and uses some interesting and thick line work to create some seriously surly looking characters. The action in this issue moves well, the panels are laid out in ways that are eye catching but also fairly cinematic and evocative. Lots of great detail here, and the coloring work (also by Latour) it’s all spot on.

    If you’re not reading this book you’re crazy.

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Newt Cox's Avatar
      Newt Cox -
      I grew up in a town very similar to the one in Southern Bastards. Love the series and it is one I buy in single issue form then in trade later on.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      It's unlike anything else out there right now - one of the best books on the racks.
    1. Newt Cox's Avatar
      Newt Cox -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jane View Post
      It's unlike anything else out there right now - one of the best books on the racks.

      The only thing keeping it from being my favorite comic is how long the wait is between issues. I love how it shows that Aaron has lived in tiny southern rural towns. Seen other writers try to capture how it is to live in a place where most people have two books in their homes,the Bible and the yellow pages,and fail. But Aaron perfectly captures it.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      There definitely seems to be an authenticity to it. As far as the delays go, Aaron's had some health issues (he goes over them in the letters column) so I can let it slide, but I do understand. When you go a few months between issues it's easy to forget what's going on with the story.
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