The Down River People

Adam Smith and Matt Fox. Archaia, $19.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-68415-563-7
The sins of the past reverberate through this Southern gothic from Smith and Fox (Long Walk to Valhalla) in which family and guilt wrangle time into a seemingly inescapable loop. Myers, a sad-eyed young man who has just buried his father after finding him dead from suicide, stoically carries on operating the family’s honky-tonk in a dry rural county. Troubles stab at him from all sides, from visions of his father’s ghost to being harassed for bootlegging by the same hypocritical cops who pony up at the bar for drinks. When Myers’s long-ago-vanished mother turns up, it at first feels like just another burden. But then be begins to feel his luck might be turning, as she offers up a fresh new family—complete with a friendly half sister and a warmhearted preacher husband, with whom she runs a luxury lodge (which happily supplies Myers with liquor). The expressively haunted faces and rich coloring of the art help carry the atmospheric proceedings, even as it takes a jarring turn into horror after the midpoint. The deeply emotive portrait and undercurrent of grief and resilience helps to overcome the somewhat disjointed narrative. This solid character- and setting-driven story will resonate for fans of late-period Stephen King. (June)
Reviewed on : 05/13/2021
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Comics
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