Because I’m reading a couple of long books that will take me months to complete, a lot of the reading I am finishing so far in 2016 has been trade collections of comic books. That’s true for this eighth book I’m finishing in 2016: Southern Bastards volume 1: Here Was A Man.
I grew up on the edge of the South – living in Baltimore, Maryland, visiting family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and vacationing in North Carolina. The world that Jason Aaron and Jason Latour create – a world that revolves around small town life and high school football – is recognizable to me but is not quite where I grew up. The visceral portrait of a man returning after decades to the town where he grew up to finally clean out the house where his father died is powerfully conveyed in words and images. Violence and menace stalk every page in this taut volume, and the characters have too much subtlety and depth to be reduced to stereotypes. This series has received a lot of praise since it came out and I expect to dip back into the subsequent volumes to experience more of the story of Craw County.