Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #1 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe



★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Donny Cates is beginning to become synonymous with his home state of Texas. Just like Maine-native Stephen King who sets his best-selling horror stories in cities of his home state, Cates' love for Texas is evident as it becomes a character all its own. In 'Redneck,' Cates' ear for rural Texan drawl flavors this story of vampires on the verge of war. 

Here's the synopsis:
The Bowmans are VAMPIRES who have quietly run the local barbecue joint in their small town for years, living off cow's blood. Their peaceful coexistence ends as generations of hate, fear, and bad blood bubble to the surface--making it impossible to separate man from monster! Critically acclaimed writer DONNY CATES (GOD COUNTRY) and artist LISANDRO ESTHERREN serve up the tale of a DIFFERENT kind of family just trying to get by, deep in the heart of Texas. 

Trying to keep a low profile and minding your business hasn't been too difficult for the Bowmans. They run their BBQ joint, tend to their farm, and just happen to be vampires. As Uncle Bartlett will tell you, "you just learn how to keep on living." All you need is to keep your head down and have a "Bloodweiser" (cow blood and paint thinner mixture) now and again to keep the urges in check. 

One fateful evening, siblings Seamus, Greg, and Slap, tired of being cooped up head to town, a "titty bar" to be precise, to blow off some steam. They leave despite the protests of their father, JV, and soon this outing becomes the catalyst of things to come. A confrontation with another local family opens up old wounds, exposes the Bowmans to new threats and changes their lives dramatically. Yet, despite all the rancor that boils over from this incident, 'Redneck' is anchored in the family more so than the usual emphasis on the vampire aspect. 

Cates draws the reader in with what you might expect in exposition from Uncle Bartlett. He retraces his time from the founding of the Lone Star State, to the Alamo, to the Civil War, informing the reader of his immortality. His exposition is comically interrupted by the youngest Bowman, Perry, who can read minds apparently. There is no pretension, this storytelling is as down-to-earth as the characters themselves.  It serves the book well as we see the Bowmans as people first and vampires second if at all.

Lisandro Estherren's gritty and scratchy pencils fit the tone of the story perfectly. This is a dirty dusty world that embeds itself in the faces of those who've worked hard to survive for hundreds of years. Estherren's character designs provide a sort of southern rural noir where shadows lurk among the rednecks in the title. The expressions are often exaggerated with body language to match but it plays big on the page and it should, giving the story more gravity. Dee Cunniffe's colors are subtle and muted but again serves the perfect tone for a world seemingly trapped under a dark cloud.

Cates is one of those overnight sensations that's been grinding for years, pitching, and writing for various publishers. After 'The Paybacks,' 'Buzzkill,' and 'Interceptor' Cates continues on a hot streak with 'God Country' (also from Image) and the upcoming 'Babyteeth' from AfterShock comics. 'Redneck' is just the latest and greatest from the industry's rising star. Cates is the Michael Moreci (Burning Fields, Hoax Hunters, Roche Limit) of 2017.

'Redneck' does the impossible and makes vampires fresh and exciting again by not making it about vampires. Instead, Cates relies on authentic familial Texan charm and an unexpected turn of events. Estherren and Cunniffe give the book the tone and feel it deserves with pitch-perfect art. Cates does it again with another must-read comic. 

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #1 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

Cyber Force is back! A reimagining from Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill introduce a new beginning for the classic series.


CYBER FORCE #1
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo
Letterer: Troy Peteri Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 28, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
You don't have to be familiar with the original series to enjoy this new iteration. In fact, 'Cyber Force' #1 is your prototypical origin story where the players are introduced including a devastatingly lethal villain.  It opens with said villain striking a huge terrorist strike brought vividly to life by Atilio Rojo. Humanity has become too dependent on technology and this act of terrorism is supposed to be the first wave of resistance, a preventive measure to keep humans from destroying themselves. In the aftermath of the attack of one of the world's biggest technology companies, one man survives, Morgan Stryker, maimed and severely wounded, unknowingly undergoes a transform…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

PREVIEW: 'John Wick' #2 by Greg Pak and Giovanni Valleta

John Wick's origin story continues! In the underworld of El Paso, Texas, a familiar face introduces an ex-con named John Wick to the local branch of the mysterious Continental Hotel, a neutral zone where professional killers spend their downtime. But can John adhere to the rules of the Continental? Or will his search for vengeance destroy his chances for a peaceful life? Also... does John Wick actually have...a cat?


John Wick #2

writer: Greg Pak
artist: Giovanni Valleta
cover: Giovanni Valleta (A)
            Jock (B)
            Photo cover (C)

In Stores 04/18/2018

FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen + 





PREVIEW: 'BEAUTIFUL CANVAS: Collected Trade' by Ryan K Lindsay, Sami Kivela, and Triona Farrell

Coming next week from Black Mask is BEAUTIFUL CANVAS, an elegant, gorgeously rendered, insanely twisted story that's kind of like The Professional if Leon was a queer hitwoman and Matilda was a boy with powers.


Written by Ryan K Lindsay (Eternal, Negative Space, DC Writers Program), illustrated by Sami Kivela (Abbott), and colored by Triona Farrell (Doctor Who), Beautiful Canvas was a breakout buzz book in 2017 that continues to garner increasing acclaim and attention.
Synopsis:
Beautiful Canvas is 2017's smash hit warped crime miniseries about Lon Eisley discovering the similarities and differences between her job as a hitwoman and her new role as a mother-to-be when she finds out her girlfriend is pregnant.

Going from destroyer to creator/protector is a major swerve, but parents still have plenty of violent and brutal moments to contend with, especially when the world is full of pyrokinetic sleeper agents, animal/hybrid muscle-squads, and one hell of a nasty boss pulling your…

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.


BONEHEAD #2   
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…