Zuda Comics, an online home for aspiring comic book creators has run a regular contest for people to vote on submitted comics, the ultimate goal being a chance to win a published comic. A grand idea and a good fit for those of us out there that dream of being comic book creators. A branch of the comic stalwart DC Comics, the ultimate prize is having your comic digested and published by the big house themselves. Such is the case of Bayou which landed on my desk this week.
Written by Jeremy Love and drawn Patrick Morgan, the cover sets the tone for the story. A tale told in the days of the late 1800′s in the times of plantations, slave relations and the like, the book have so many facets that they cover in the pages, it’s simply amazing. Unfolding like a classic fairy tale touched with bits of “The Wizard of Oz”, “Brer Rabbit”, and other such bits of entertainment history, it manages to be pretty enthralling throughout. To add to the fantasy nature of it, they play up the horror side just a bit more than others giving the book a great spooky tinge.
“South of the Mason-Dixon lurks a strange world of gods and monsters born of years of slavery, civil war, innocent blood, hate and strife. The daughter of a poor black sharecropper, Lee Wagstaff, joins a blues-singing swamp monster name Bayou on a southern odyssey through a mythic combination of depression era Mississippi, African mythology and American folklore in order to rescue her childhood friend and save her father’s life.”
While the horror is lighter than most would consider for a ‘horror comic’, it is still there in a few different forms. There is the horror of black vs. white relations during the time such as the horror of small minded individuals whose first reaction to any problem is a lynching. There is a great creepy vibe as we begin to venture ‘through the bayou’ to the fantasy world that lies alongside the town of Charon filled with large swamp trolls, talking blood hounds, a boss man that runs the swamp with an iron fist, and the return of dead individuals in main character Lee’s life.
I love comics, I love to read. I do both quite a bit. It’s been awhile though since a 160 page book has captured me so hard that I’ve sat down to finish it in one reading. The book feels pretty magical over all and I simply can’t wait for the next volume.
“Bayou Volume 1″ is available from Zuda Comics or wherever comics are sold. It contains the first four chapters of the online comic. For more info, be sure to check out the book’s page at Zuda where it appears there is even more content available!