If you haven’t checked out Redneck yet then you are missing out on the best new series Image has released this year. Do yourself a favor and run (don’t walk) to the nearest shop and grab up a copy of this issue and the previous five and dig into the best horror title since the Walking Dead!
I was introduced to Donny Cates work through this series and immediately I went back and dug up everything I could find from this writer. That was just four months ago and now here we are at the end of the first story arc for this series. What a way to close things out!
Stephen King famously said that the job of a good writer is to “murder your darlings”. Cates takes that wisdom and puts some Southern fried STANK on it. If you’re not up to speed on this series then all you really need to know is the elevator pitch; there is a family of vampires in Deep South Texas that has been ousted. People and vamps are starting to drop like flies. The Bowmans are holed up in their home trying to figure out what to do next when the law comes calling. Something brown and smelly hits the fan shortly after that.
Cates is brilliant pure and simple! He knows exactly how to pull the strings on these characters to make them dance a Texas two-step that would make the bluest of collared Texans proud. Even with minimal dialogue in this issue; the tension and drama is wound so tight you could put it on your six string. Nothing is wasted, not one panel. Every line, every sound effect is used to its full potential. If you want to see how to create a great comic, pick this issue up and study it. This is a master class.
The perfect pairing to the high-octane plot is the gritty artwork of Lisandro. The Argentinian has made his country proud, by becoming one of their best artistic exports in recent memory. As flawless as Cates is with the narrative, the artwork is just as accomplished. Estherren’s down and dirty style holds hints of influence of everyone from Rafael Albuquerque to Ben Templesmith to Bill Sienkiewicz. The artwork hugs this story tighter than a satin nightgown and we the reader’s benefit.
There may still be a few months left in the year, but I am already calling this one of my favorite titles of 2017! With Halloween quickly approaching you would be well served to get yourself a set of Redneck issues for the big holiday night. Turn out all the lights, bust out a flashlight, and read these spectacular comics like you were a kid again.
Final Thoughts: Perfection! Final Score: 5 out 5 fangs!
Story: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren
Colors: Dee Cunniffe
Letters: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Image Comics