Aug 4, 2009

Bayou Vol. 1 by Jeremy Love

Bayou Vol. 1 by Jeremy Love

Set in Mississippi in the 1930’s, Bayou is the story of Lee Wagstaff: Lee’s mother died when she was very young, and so she lives alone with her father, a sharecropper. Lee’s best friend is a girl named Lily, whose mother disapproves of her daughter being friends with a black child. One day, Lily goes missing, and Lee’s father is accused of raping and murdering her. Although there isn’t much of a case against him, Lees knows that the townspeople are likely to take matters into their own hands. She also knows that her only chance of saving her father is to go find Lily: to enter the bayou and the magical world that hides behind it.

And so begins a Southern Gothic tale of courage and adventure. In this Publisher’s Weekly interview, Jeremy Love said he wanted to write a story that combined fantasy, a southern atmosphere, and “the rich historical and religious experience of the South and early America, such as the Blues”. It seems to me that he’s doing a fantastic job.

Lee is a wonderful character: brave, resourceful and smart. The world she enters to save her father and Lily is a dark one, but it mirrors the darkness of her own reality. She does what she has to do and never flinches, which isn’t to say that she doesn’t get scared. And now let me gush about the art: Bayou has the most beautiful art I've seen in a long while – probably since Mouse Guard by David Petersen. Words can’t possibly do it justice, so let me show you instead:

Bayou by Jeremy Love

Bayou by Jeremy Love

Bayou began as a webcomic, and the first five chapters (which is to say, volume 1 plus one extra chapter) can still be read online. Be warned, though, that the story hasn’t been completed yet, and you’ll be left suffering when you get to the end.Volume two of a total of three will be out in March 2010, and the online version of the story will continue to be updated four time a week. But for me, this is an agonizing rhythm, so I’ll probably wait until a couple more chapters have been concluded before I read more. Until then, I shall suffer. I have little doubt that Lee will succeed in the end, but I can’t wait to find out what she’ll have to face before she does.

Reviewed at:
The Bottom of Heaven
Girl’s Entertainment Network
Graphic Novel Reporter
Boing Boing
Jenny's Books
A Striped Armchair
Libri Touches
Books of Mee


(Did I miss yours?)

More pretty art:

Bayou by Jeremy Love

Bayou by Jeremy Love
(click to enlarge)

29 comments:

  1. I didn't realize this was on-line. When I first saw this book at an on-line store a couple months ago, I KNEW I would have to get it sometime. I'm so thrilled to hear you enjoyed it so much! It makes me even more confident that it will be worth the money.

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  2. The artwork reminds me of annuals from around the 70's. For some reason Rupert the Bear keeps coming to mind. It is very beautiful. I like the idea of Southern gothic - I really enjoy anything Southern as it is, let alone mixing in Gothic. I am going to go and read the online version. Thanks for sharing Nymeth.

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  3. I love the art for this. I will definitely check ou tthe web comic and will remember not to be disappointed that it ends before the end of the series.

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  4. The art work is so cool. I love the premise too. March 2010 is a loooong time. I might wait for some time before I read this one. It's great to know that it's online.

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  5. Oh my god I need this (my thought process for most books that lay eyes upon), but I really mean it with this one. It's everything I love in a book! And that art is just amazing. Thanks for letting me know about this!

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  6. I read this online, at the zudacomics site, and when I found it, I stayed up all night reading it. The artwork and the story line are so wonderful! I didn't realize it was out in print now. Thanks for the review!

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  7. This looks great! Though I think I'll wait until all three are out!

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  8. Wow! This looks beautiful and sounds great!

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  9. It looks beautiful. I'll have to see if it's at my library.

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  10. wow, the artwork is beautiful. this does sound very good.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  11. Oh wow! The artwork is beautiful! I love it!!! And I love the premise too!

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  12. The artwork is gorgeous! And I love the sound of the book. I don't want to be tortured, I will not read it online :D

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  13. Southern Gothic sounds engaging! You always find such interesting books, and every time I visit your blog, I find another book to add to my list! Thank you so much!

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  14. Amanda: Me too :)

    Debi: I read it online for now, but this is definitely something I want to own and look at again and again. It's worth the money for sure!

    Vivienne: Yeah, I'm a big fan of Southern lit. And Gothic always makes everything better :D

    Rhinoa: The ending is quite frustrating :P For some reason I was convinced that the web version had already been completed and I couldn't believe it when I got to the last page.

    Violet: Probably a wise decision :P

    Chris: You mean you don't mean it the other times?! :( But seriously, this does have Chris written all over it :D

    rhapsodyinbooks: Once I started I couldn't stop either. Such a good story.

    J.T. Oldfield: Probably best, yes :P

    Nicola and Chris, I hope you both enjoy it!

    Naida: I know! Some of my favourite art in a long while.

    Melody: It really is a great premise. I can't wait to see how it ends.

    Veens: Hehehe :D If I had known I might have waited too. Then again, I am impatient :P

    Andreea: It's my pleasure to help spread the world about good books :D

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  15. the artwork is great. It sounds fascinating. I wonder if our library system has it or will get it.

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  16. This looks amazing! My library doesn't have it, though. :-( I'll put in a request. I love that picture with the rabbit.

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  17. You are right, the artwork is stunning. I am going to head on over and check out the website, even if I have to wait for the conclusion to the story. Thanks!!

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  18. I love stories about the swamps! I just watched The Skeleton Key, so I am totally in the mood for more bayou boogaloo.

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  19. Is there something wrong with me? I just can't get into graphic novels. I think the story is interesting but I just don't like reading in comic book form.

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  20. As is evident by the amount of Bad Blogger points that you continue to rack up, I do mean it all the time ;) lol.

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  21. Carol and Darla, I hope your libraries get it!

    Zibilee: Prepared to get hooked and then suffer :P

    She: I've been meaning to watch that movie for ages. I've seen the trailer a ton of times, and it seems to have such a coll mood.

    Rebecca: Not at all! It's just a matter of taste :)

    Chris: lol, true :P

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  22. OMG! I love the art!! Oh I must have.

    The story line sounds great.

    I love the art of Mouse Guard, but the story didn't grab me at all. I have no idea why because I was expecting to love it.

    I will definitely give this one a try next time I place an order for books.

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  23. Wow. That looks gorgeous. You always find the best graphic novels.

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  24. Another one to add to my list. This one looks beautiful.

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  25. Beth: Though I liked Mouse Guard more than you did, I think what made the story not work for everyone was that a lot of it was devoted to worldbuilding. Volume two will be out soon, and hopefully it'll take the story further.

    Memory: I try! :P

    Gavin, I think you'll enjoy it :)

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  26. This sounds amazing. Great review. Thanks for linking it to CMB.

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  27. It's so beautiful!!!! I have to read it!

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  28. I know this is a tad late, but I finally clicked on the link to read Bayou. Thanks so much for linking to it. Its beautiful.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.