Bayou – Jeremy Love

December 29, 2009 § 2 Comments

051

You just gotta love that cover.

Bayou is a graphic novel starring a young, fiesty black girl, Lee. She saw a winged-Billy Glass (his soul?) in the water once, when she was sent to retrieve his body. The bayou is a bad place, she says, and she ain’t never going back in there again.

But soon after, her white friend Lily disappears, and her father is accused of being responsible for her disappearance. But Lee knows it is not, because she saw with her own eyes, a monster ate Lily up by the bayou. Determined to save both her friend and her father, she goes back to the bayou.

Now, she is taken on a journey, meeting danger at every corner.

The story is mostly somewhat fantasy-like, with animals that talk, monsters that gobble up people, and “The Bossman” who can change into a whole flock of crows. But amidst all the fantasy, there seems to be a connection between what happens in this ‘fantasy-land’, and what had happened in real life. Or at least, that’s how I read it.

There was one part of the story, immediately after Lee’s dad was arrested, that I particularly recall. I remember being angry at how unfair it could be, and how prejudice could really kill a person. It was written as a newspaper article:

The prime suspect is a negro, Calvin Wagstaff. Wagstuff is a big and burly wretch, with long sinewy apelike arms and massive hands. His eyes are devoid of feeling and humanity. One finds it hard to empathize with this criminal.

The negro is currently in custody, but the white girl’s undoubtedly violated body has yet to be found.

How awful is that?

*

I found out about Bayou from Mee, who directed me to the website where the comic is. The first hardcopy volume of this comic goes only up to chapter 4, whereas the online comic is now up to chapter 7. I’ve read somewhere that the second volume, which will be a collection of the next 4 chapters, will be out some time in May next year.

The artwork is just great. So beautifully done.

bayou-1

bayou-2

That’s how Billy Glass died. (I think these two pages came from a later chapter, not yet found in Volume 1..)

*

Rating: 4.5

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§ 2 Responses to Bayou – Jeremy Love

  • mee says:

    Gosh you sure picked one gruesome scene to show up :P. I didn’t realize that the website includes chapters for volume 2 (I read everything). Would really like to continue with a hard-copy though. Anyway, I’m glad you liked it! The injustice to the black people made me angry too. What a great way to show people of what had happened in the past.

  • su says:

    @ mee: Haha.. My choice is quite gruesome.. But the art is just so beautiful.

    I think the website updates with new pages at regular intervals, though I’m not sure how far in between each update. But like you, I’d definitely love to be able to hold it physically and thumb through the pages.

    Injustice and prejudice just kills people. This kind of prejudice and preconception of people based on their race is still quite predominant today, though we might like to believe otherwise. It’s less obvious, which makes it all the more terrible.

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