IDW Publishing 2016
Written by Devin Faraci
Illustrated by Vic Malhotra
Coloured by Jason Millet
Lettered by Christa Miesner
Lou Ford is a small-town deputy with a troubled childhood that created a sickness deep within him. That sickness has bubbled to the surface once again, putting Joyce Lakeland and Elmer Conway in Lou’s crosshairs.
This is pretty delightful to me. While reminiscent of Giant in some ways and with the Texan drawl in their speech, even if that’s in my head, not to mention that this story has so much characterisation and development in such a short amount of time I can’t wait to see how everything in Lou’s life begins to unravel.
I’m kind of a fan of the fact that this is only the second issue and already what could have been drawn out has already occurred. Lou is a devious man who’s hidden his dark side incredibly well and has found ways to have others take the blame for what he’s done. We saw that much in the first issue and the fact that he’s a deputy in this small town that gives him another sense of that power for which he craves well it’s just well portrayed. Devin has been adapting Jim Thompson’s story incredibly well, while i’ve not read it myself it does give the reader what we need in terms of characterisation and development in what we see.
The interior artwork here is somewhat bareboned and that actually works to it’s advantage. There’s definitely a more Noir feel to it this way and the line work is clean and well done. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective help the story flow nicely. I’m a little surprised we saw what happened to Elmer I liked that the view of what went on with Joyce was blocked as it left more to the imagination which is a pretty powerful tool.
There’s so much going on here and I find myself looking for something that Lou’s done or said that will get him trouble. You want him to get caught for what he’s done and yet at the same time you are completely and utterly fascinated by the man. He’s so different than what we’re used to seeing and this level of psychopath just doesn’t come along everyday. So there’s so much about him that you want to root for and against at the same time.
Adaptations can do a couple things, one is you feel you’ve read the story and have no desire to see the original material, the second is that you WANT to seek out the original and see how well this stacks up. This is the latter for me because it’ll not only introduce me to someone whose work i’ve never read but because if this is the level of storytelling we’re getting here I can only imagine what the source material is like. I feel like Devin is really giving us a great picture of this town and these characters already but how much more does the novel have that didn’t fit here?
This is a rare entity not because it’s an adaptation but because you kind of want to root for the bad guy. You want him to get away with it because you want to see what else he’s capable of. Is he smart enough to last three more issues and get away scott free? Then if he does what’s he going to do next? This is the kind of man who on 48 Hours we love that he’s caught but here we want to follow his adventures. That’s how well this being done.