Carol Evans's Reviews > Bayou, Vol. 1

Bayou, Vol. 1 by Jeremy Love
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Oct 05, 2010

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bookshelves: graphic-novel
Read in September, 2010

The horrors Lee has to face are real, racism, hatred, lynchings, but they're also mythical, magical. The monsters are real, some terrifying, some helpful. This is where, if I'm honest I kind of got lost in the swamp myself. Jeremy Love says in an interview that the story leaves the real world and "we then move to the world of Dixie. Dixie is a strange Southern neverland that exists parallel to our own. The world was formed from the blood, war, and strife that plagued the South." The characters are re-imagined images from the South like Cotton-Eyed Joe, Jim Crows that are downright scary birds, Jubal the Bloodhound on a horse, and Bayou himself, a giant creature who lives in a shack. I felt like I was set down in the middle of a fantasy land where I didn't know the rules or characters. I found the mix of the realistic and fantastic confusing. I'm not sure why, usually I'm all for the combination, but in this case it left me feeling off-kilter. Of course, in the same interview he states one of the inspirations behind Bayou was Alice in Wonderland, a story I'm not too fond of.

Maybe it was in part to the artwork which added another dimension to the story, the visual aspect that is missing in novels. The story is very violent, which is to be expected based on the themes and the artwork is both beautiful and menacing, magical and frightening. The scenes of Lee swimming in the bayou are just eerie.

I can't say I enjoyed reading this, but I am interested to see where it goes, to maybe get my bearings in Dixie.
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Karen Thank you for this comment! I actually understand it now so much better than I did while reading it. I confess I felt just the same while reading this as you did, but this has helped to clear things quite a bit.


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