Vampires in a somewhat rural Texas town. And they’re the protagonists.
That’s probably all you need to know about the premise for the Image Comics series Redneck. The first volume, subtitled Deep in the Heart is reviewed below.
The Bowman family lives on the outskirts of a small Texas town. They own the local barbecue joint, but mostly keep to themselves during the day. They more or less have to. They’re vampires. They live off the blood of their cows and sell the meat in town. There’s the Landry family that knows about them and have been enemies since the time of the Alamo, but for the most part they keep their true nature a secret.
The problem comes when family patriarch’s three sons (vampires here can also reproduce biologically) go into town. JV sends the series narrator, his adopted “brother” Bartlett, to bring the boys back before they do something bad. Bartlett is a bit of a drunk, but he goes. He finds the boys at a topless bar, and as they are confronting Father Landry, well, something happens. Bartlett wakes up the next day to find JV angry. Bartlett doesn’t remember what happened, but youngest son Slap, who wasn’t quite right in the head anyway, is hanging from a tree outside, burning in the sun. He’s dead.
Vampires, we are told, don’t wear black as a sign or mourning. They wear red. From the blood of other people.
But what happened to Slap? Bartlett can’t remember, and the only psychics in the family are a small girl JV wants to shield from everything and the monstrous old thing called “Grandpa” in the attic. Slap’s brothers want to kill someone. JV wants to keep hiding. Bartlett just wants to know what happened. But soon, it will have to come out: there are vampires at the old Bowman place.
Writer Donny Cates has an interesting set-up here, and he plays around a bit with the vampire mythology. Artist Lisandro Estherren gives the book a distinct look, both horrifying and rustic as needed, and there’s some humor to be found, like how a mosquito that bit Bartlett bursts into flames as soon as it hits the sunlight. Something pushed the Bowmans front and center. Now they have to hide or fight. Eight out of ten silent guys named Evil.