Image Comics has become the main publisher for mainstream books that don’t necessarily involve a bunch of steroidal men punching the shit out of each other form one issue to the next or hooker-grade females that are empowering to readers for some reason. Whatever that reason may be is not within my power to answer, so I’m not going to talk about that. Go to CBR or some other site for that crap. I’m here to talk about Redneck by Donny Cates and Lisandro Estheren.
Now, given how diverse Image Comics has become this past decade or so, it’s no surprise that their publishing line tends to be almost always a “hit or miss” scenario. Sure, you have the hits that you’d hear a lot of people talking about – sometimes even those that haven’t even read them, proving just how popular the series has become all the more –, but there are a whole shitload of titles that are being overlooked. For every Image Comic hit, it’s no exaggeration that we get about at least ten flops. And those flops aren’t even the creators’ faults. After all, there are just so many good comics from the publisher that choosing which one to stick to or even start with becomes a challenge in and of itself.
And Image Comics could get pretty brutal, too. I’ve heard of one series (I forget the title) that was supposed to run for six issues but ended up wrapping up in three due to poor sales. Simply put, it’s not the fault of the creators that an Image comic fails, and you can’t really blame the readers either. The funny book industry is a cold, heartless overlord, and we’re all just slaves to it.
Now, Cates and Estheren’s Redneck is a series that I’d say is in the middle of the top cash cows and the ones that are in danger of being cut. Don’t get me wrong: the series is not mediocre by any measure at all. It’s quite the opposite of that, in fact. Redneck is a series that reads great as a monthly serial: it leaves just enough room for you to look forward to the other issue without making the current one empty in the process, which is my main problem with series like The Walking Dead.
And, even more amazing to me is the fact that Cates somehow makes the story work in spite of its rather trite subject matter, which is vampires, proving that adding some Southern flavor to just about anything makes it better.
On the other hand, this is also the same reason that I can’t picture Redneck shooting up top the sales chart: freaking vampires. Since Bram Stoker decided to take a hit of that sweet opium and write about Dracula, the world has been populated by vampire stories, ranging from the blood-sucking monsters horror nerd love to the shitty ones that spend their time stalking bad actresses than killing humans.
All in all, I just hope this doesn’t get cut short. Redneck is worth the read.