By Daniel Vlasaty
It’s been a few months since issue #15 came out, which is kind of Jason Aaron’s MO, it seems. I think I’d be pretty pissed about the delay too if the issue weren't so damn good. I love Southern Bastards, man. I love everything about it. I love the feel of it. I love the stink of it. I love the writing and the art. I love that this is what I imagine life in small southern towns is probably like.
This issue read like a great piece of violent crime fiction, quick and sharp with no added fluff. It probably only took me about 15 minutes to read the entire issue. But even though it’s a fast read, it still feels like a BIG issue. Like it’s a turning point for Coach Boss. But with his reputation and the reputation of his team on the line, we all know there’s only one way this thing is going to play out.
This issue shows us just the kind of man Boss actually is. We’ve seen it before; we know it. But this issue hammers home just who he is. Don’t get me wrong, Boss is definitely a bad guy, but like all good fiction, all good stories, it also shows us a little bit of another side of him. Like maybe buried under all the layers of shit covering him there’s something I wouldn’t call good, per se, but just something boarding on remorse. Like he’s doing the things he’s doing not because he wants to or because he enjoys them, but because he feels he has to do them. Because he feels, there’s no other way.
Because he’s Coach fuckin’ Boss.
I don’t want to give anything away. But I’ll just say that if you’re a fan of the series you’ll dig this issue, and if you haven’t started reading Southern Bastards yet what the hell’s the matter with you?
As for the art, I feel like you love Jason Latour, or you hate him. Personally, I love his work. I love that it’s just the right amount of sloppy to play off the kinetic feel of the issue. It’s chaotic because this story is also super chaotic. It complements the story, and I don’t think Southern Bastards would work as good as it does with anyone else handling the art.
Although sometimes I have no idea what Jason Latour does to his characters’ faces. There are a few panels in this issue where I couldn’t help but say to myself, “I guess that kind of looks like a face… maybe if you squint real hard and twist the book this way.”
Southern Bastards #16
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
Publisher: Image Comics