Sipping Sweet Tea and Carrying a Big Stick in SOUTHERN BASTARDS
September 5, 2014
Aaron and Latour’s storytelling walks tall in October graphic novel
Earl Tubbs left Craw County, Alabama years ago, and with it bad memories and a whole world he didn’t want to come back to. His father was a former sheriff and is still a legendary figure in Craw. In SOUTHERN BASTARDS, a new Image Comics graphic novel by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, Earl returns to reckon with his past and — even though he never wanted it — perhaps shape Craw County’s future. The first volume, HERE WAS A MAN, will be in stores in October.
After a run-in with the violent Coach Boss, who runs the county and has the sheriff’s department in his grip, Earl faces a choice: Will he try to be the reluctant savior of Craw County, following in his father’s footsteps, or will he leave again and never look back? If he’s going to take on the rot at the heart of this small town, Earl is going to need to carry a big stick.
Creators Latour and Aaron have infused SOUTHERN BASTARDS with a sometimes uncomfortable authenticity that can only come from creators with deep ties to the South.
Latour, who has ties to rural North Carolina, spoke about his approach to the stylized characters and evocative colors SOUTHERN BASTARDS’ art in an L.A. Times Hero Complex interview. “Even though this is a very real-world story, it’s the type of thing I think would be hindered by strict realism, largely because for me the book is as much about how the story and ‘The South’ feel as anything,” said Latour. “So generally I concentrate my focus on tone and emotion, being more graphic and representative of the feelings or thoughts I want the colors to imply.”
Aaron, who is originally from Alabama, described how his background influences his writing in an interview with USA Today. “I'm able to write about the things I love and the things I hate about the South,” he said. “On the one hand, we want it to be a very smart look at the South but also a book about big dumb rednecks. We're trying to do both of those at the same time so it's dark and it's funny and it's real and even a little bit of the supernatural involved at times.”
SOUTHERN BASTARDS VOLUME ONE: HERE WAS A MAN will be in comic book stores on October 1 and in bookstores on October 14. It is available for pre-order now and is specially priced at $9.99
SOUTHERN BASTARDS VOLUME ONE: HERE WAS A MAN by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
- ISBN 978-1-63215-033-2
- Diamond Comic order code JUL140517
- 112 pages, paperback
- In comic book stores October 1, bookstores October 14
- Rated Mature
- Collects SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1-4
- Retailers, librarians, and reviewers may request a PDF galley from Jennifer de Guzman, Director of Trade Book Sales, firstname.lastname@example.org
Praise for SOUTHERN BASTARDS:
“Latour is doing the work of his career here. His art is solemn and meditative – that is, until the blood gets rolling. Then it’s perfectly composed kinetic brutality. Aaron is at his best when he’s writing about men returning to the places that made them. This series is perhaps his greatest meditation on that premise.” –Tres Dean, IGN
“It seems that those of y’all who didn’t grow up in the American South might not understand why Southern Bastards is so revolutionary. Sure, anyone can tell it that it is a great story with compelling characters, or that Latour’s art is brilliant; but this book does something altogether new. The Jasons Aaron and Latour have dispensed with all the mind-your-manners, pomp-and-circumstance, nice-nasty bullshit that we Southerners have always hidden our astronomical numbers of skeletons in the closet beneath.” –Sam LeBas, Multiversity Comics
“Southern Bastards isn't a history lesson. There's no hot air hemming and hawing about its lofty sense of self. It's a book about action — actions taken and not — and the power of letting that action speak for itself. Inner turmoil, it turns out, is something that a place can experience just as well as a man.” –Brendan McGuirk, Newsarama
“Southern Bastards is a modern tale with the visceral elegance of sandpaper and an open-hearted honesty that makes it impossible not to absolutely love. The humor and the grim reality of this issue is enthralling to try and comprehend and disappointing to fully accept.” –Roderick Ruth, Comicosity