Image Comics’ Redneck: Where BBQ and Vampires Meet

Guest Writer: Stonie Williams

 

Creator/Writer – Donny Cates
Creator/Artist – Lisandro Estherren
Colorist – Dee Cunniffe
Letter – Joe Sabino

-This article was made possible by the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.

“You don’t get happy endings… when you live forever.”

The Bowman family run a BBQ joint and cattle ranch. It’s a smart business model. The family raises the cattle, butchers the cattle, cooks and sells the meat in their BBQ place. It’s also convenient. See, the Bowman’s are vampires. Slaughtering the cows themselves means that they can keep the cows blood and aren’t forced to feed off humans. See? Smart.

Redneck cover art © Image comics

Redneck cover art © Image comics

One night the Bowman boys Greg, Seamus, and Slap decide to go on a rare visit to town. Hit the bar, check out the strip club, generally, have a good time. They don’t venture out into town often, being vampires and all. Their Dad, JV, the little sister, Perry, stay home while Granpa remains in the attic. Uncle Barlett decides to check in on the boys in town.

After a run-in with the locals, things went sideways. A fight between the Bowman boys and some locals brings the attention of Father Landry, whose family has been in a feud with the Bowmans. It all started the night Uncle Barlett turns into a vampire and joined the Bowman family.

A drunken feud turns bloody and Barlett wakes up in the shade on the porch, covered in blood. He can’t remember what happened the night before, what he did or didn’t do. Young Slap Bowman hangs in a tree burning from the sunlight.

As Barlett struggles to remember what exactly went down that night the two family’s feud comes to a head. Can Barlett figure things out and save the family, along with human lives, before the boys take revenge for Slap? Is the Reverend behind it all? What will JV have to do to protect his family from others – or themselves?

So let’s start off by saying that I love vampires. It doesn’t matter how scary or corny or hokey they are, I love vampires. Except for Twilight. They don’t count. So, when I saw this southern-themed vampire story I had to jump on it. Every vampire story shares certain themes and aspects but they all have their own little takes on the mythos and Redneck is no exception.

Through the story, you find out that people can turn into vampires, but they also have kids and be born that way. Vampires do age, it seems but at a much slower rate.

Lisandro Estherren’s artwork went smoothly with his and Donny Cates’ story. You feel like you’re in the rural southwest, complete with cliches and colorful lingo. Estherren’s sketchy art style gives a gritty, lived in feel to the world that brings the narrative to life. Dee Conniffe’s coloring and use of light to set moods were beautiful and very cinematic. This is something you could definitely see turned into a movie or Netflix series.

This was a great vampire story that had a depth to it I didn’t expect. I came to really care and become invested in these people and their stories. It left it open enough to continue the story, which I could personally love to see but gave enough closure that I felt content with how it ended. It’s not have been the ending I wanted, but it was the ending the story deserved and sometimes that’s better than getting what you want.

I absolutely recommend this to any vampire fan. There is plenty of violence and strong language, but anyone who’s seen shows like The Walking Dead or Preacher will feel right at home in Redneck. This was a blast to read and I can’t wait to see what comes next! Until next time, happy reading!

Panels from Redneck #1 © Image Comics

Panels from Redneck #1 © Image Comics

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