SETH’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #4: When each new issue of Southern Bastards is released, I find myself doing the same thing I did with Jason Aaron’s Scalped: re-reading each issue of that particular story line before enjoying the final chapter. While both books have strong elements of crime fiction within them, the greater similarity is that hold up to multiple readings and remain impressive. Aaron’s reliability as a storyteller is part of Southern Bastards‘ success, but just as key is the quality of the art.
Jason Latour is finally receiving the attention he’s been due as a unique cartoonist in an ever-expanding field of comic book pin up artists. I’ve particularly been impressed with Latour’s ability to convey the mindsets of characters through their facial and body language. This sounds simple, I know, but how many times have you looked at a comic in recent years and every character’s face looks exactly the same? You don’t have that monochromatic wave of expressions in Southern Bastards. In fact, I would argue that you could infer the story’s meaning by simply reading the pictures without the script. Again, that seems like a fairly obvious role of comic book art, but how often do comics actually succeed on that front?
Southern Bastards exemplifies strong literary and visual storytelling, and if you haven’t yet realized what so many of us already have, make sure to pick up the first three issues or the upcoming trade paperback. Oh, and in this issue Earl Tubb fights Coach Boss. It’s set in the South, you see.