February 29, 2024

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Comic Review: Redneck Volume 2

Donny Cates' Texas vampires return.

Image Comics puts out a lot of really strange and fun stuff to read.  And because I have so many unread books, I don’t always get to some of the fun stuff I enjoy in a timely manner.

That basically means, despite enjoying the first volume, I only just got around to the second volume of the Texas vampire story Redneck‘s second volume, subtitled The Eyes Upon You.

Following the Bowman clan of vampires forced withdrawal from their longtime home, the clan made up of patriarch JV, his sons Seamus and Greg, adopted uncle/series narrator Bartlett, young daughter Perry, newest vampire Father Landry, and the family’s two mortal familiars, a pair of guys named Phil and Evil, are hiding out near Waco after the incidents from Volume 1.  By day, older guy Phil and the silent guy they call Evil go hunting for animals that can feed the humans with meat and the vampires with blood, and by night, they lie low until JV figures it’s time to move on.

There are, of course, problems with this arrangement.  Landry is a descendant of the mortal family that has been causing problems for the Bowmans since Bartlett became a vampire over 150 years before, and no one aside from Bartlett, a known drunk, is taking any time at all to explain how vampirism works to the onetime holy man.  There are rules to being a vampire, and there are rules JV enforces when it comes to being a member of his family.

Someone has been breaking those rules, and those rules are there for a reason.

While Volume 1 mostly set up the series’ basics, Volume 2 goes bigger and smaller at the same time.  The consequences of the vampires’ actions have bigger repercussions than what happened in one small town.  But how does it go smaller?  By explaining more of the characters’ backstories.  We get more on Perry’s origins in a world where vampires can be born as well as made, as well as the fate of JV’s late wife, how Phil came into the Bowman family’s service, and why Evil is called Evil and what that guy may want.  Cates is parceling out information at a good rate, giving the reader enough to see more and more of the bigger picture while still moving along the current plot.  Maybe he hasn’t done much with Greg and Seamus yet, but maybe that’s left for the future.  Bartlett is a rather pathetic character so far, and that’s intentional.  He’s a guy who’s made a lot of mistakes, and he’s only learned from some of them.  I’m really digging the series more now than I did before.  9 out of 10 kids with eerie glowing eyes.

By the by, a news report here at one point mentions bad weather in another part of Texas.  Is Cates saying his God Country series is set in the same universe as Redneck?  If so, cool.  If not, well, that’s OK too.  I can always pretend.