The American south has a reputation for quite a few things. One of them just so happens to be football and it's an obsession that completely grips many cities in the southern region of America. That dynamic is completely on display in Southern Bastards: Here Was A Man graphic novel from Image Comics. The book by Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour shows Earl's return to reckon with his past and — even though he never wanted it — perhaps shape Craw County’s future.
“Even though this is a very real-world story," said Latour, "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.”
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.
Aaron, who is originally from Alabama, described how his background influences his writing. “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: Here Was A Man will be in comic book stores on October 1 and in bookstores on October 14. It's available for pre-order now and is specially priced at $9.99.
Full press release below.