And Then I Read: BAYOU Volume 2

Images © DC Comics, Inc.

BAYOU is the only one of the webcomics DC’s Zuda line produced that I’ve read, and I’ve now read the two print volumes.  It’s a fine series full of the folklore and archetypes of southern African-American culture, some of which I’m familiar with, but seen through white eyes, which makes a difference. In fact, I think a lot of what appears in the strip would provoke protests if created by whites, so I think it’s safe to assume that Jeremy Love is writing from the culture he’s immersed in.

Despite an undercurrent of cruelty and inhumane treatment, both of blacks by whites and blacks by blacks, there is an overall charm and appeal of these characters and they way they’re drawn. The colors tend to be too dark and too saturated in print, which is probably an artifact of making them look good online, but despite that, a reader can enjoy the art and see what’s going on clearly enough. What’s going on is a tall tale of epic proportions, with elements of fantasy both dark and light, and wise insights into human behavior and weaknesses, even if some of the characters are in animal form. (Actually, in some cases, I’m not sure what form they are meant to be!)

Some of the language, like constantly calling the young girl heroine “pigmeat” tends to pull me out of the story, though I guess it’s meant as a funny nickname, but other than that, I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

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