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Bayou Paperback – June 2, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Extremely beautiful, scary and wonderful, this Web comic takes readers to a pair of almost familiar, frequently threatening worlds. We first journey back in time to Mississippi, 1933, where a black sharecropper's daughter, Lee Wagstaff, is learning how to be strong in a segregated society. While Lee and her white friend, Lily, are playing near the bayou where black victims of racial violence are thrown, Lily is abducted by a monster—but Lee's father is blamed. To save him from a lynch mob by rescuing her friend, Lee enters the parallel universe of Dixie, where Southern folklore comes to life in disturbing echoes of our world. There she meets the eponymous character, a hulking creature living alone in a shack, troubled by disturbing memories and threatened by hateful embodiments of the South's violent past. When Lee convinces Bayou that he doesn't have to remain a victim, the two of them set off on a joint quest for understanding and redemption. Love's script and art, laid out in big blocks like Sunday comics, are lovely and eloquent; Morgan's coloring fills the panels with hazy sunlight and menacing darkness. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Beautiful artwork partnered with a powerful story has drawn BAYOU comparisons to the lush film Pan's Labyrinth. If you thought you'd never pick up a comic in your life, this one may be the right kick to your cerebellum."

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Product Details

  • Series: Bayou (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Zuda; 1st edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401223826
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401223823
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm in awe of Bayou. In fact, I literally just finished reading it (yes, I stayed up all night) and I'm anxious to find out the rest of Lee's and Bayou's story.

Let me back up a moment and offer a synopsis...

The stage is set in the beginning of this graphic novel--'30s in the south when racism is rife. Lee Wagstaff lives with her father, who she loves dearly and would do anything for (this is readily apparent within the first few pages of the story--I won't say more because it's a spoiler) and he loves her just as much.

Their lives take an unfortunate turn, however, when Lily Westmoreland, a young white girl who was playing with Lee, goes missing and due to a gross misunderstanding, Lee's father is accused and arrested for her kidnapping.

Lee saw exactly what happened to Lily, but no one believes her and with her father about to be strung up to a tree, she takes it upon herself to rescue Lily and save her father. What commences is a ride through fantasy where not everyone (or thing) you meet is sugarplums and gumdrops.

The story reminded me quite a bit of the movie Pan's Labyrinth in it's mixture of fantasy laced with reality's nuances, especially the coupling of a child's need to save someone she loves and desperation to escape from a deplorable station in life--with different creatures and mythos though.

That said, each character was well-rounded and I never sensed any of them were cardboard cut-outs. Each one had a distinct personality and faults, which made them sympathetic, especially Lee and Bayou.

The artwork is phenomenal. There's not much more that I can say about it. The lines, the colors, the layout, it all just works--and works well.
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Format: Paperback
The bayou is a dark and frightening place. A little girl named Lee, living in Mississippi in 1933, discovers that firsthand when she dives into its murky depths to recover the body of a friend. Underwater, she finds the body, but she sees something more, a person...or maybe an evil spirit. It's hard to tell, and she has no interest in finding out. There's plenty of evil for her to deal with in the real world already.

Lee lives with her father, a sharecropper, on the Westmoreland estate. The body Lee has found at the bottom of the bayou belonged to a young black man who dared to whistle at a white woman. Lee knows as well as anyone the cold, stark reality of the world she lives in, even if she questions it persistently. When she asks her father why he doesn't fight back against the horrible brutality of the white townspeople, he explains his understanding of not only his time but of times to come. The time to fight back hasn't dawned yet. But it will. And he needs Lee strong enough to make it to that fight.

Bayou began as a webcomic under DC's Zuma imprint and is now being published in paperback form, hopefully where it will reach an even wider audience. Deserving of all the praise and awards its received, Jeremy Love's magical story is a pitch-perfect tale of hope amid oppression. With a nod to Alice in Wonderland and To Kill a Mockingbird both, Bayou takes Lee down the rabbit hole into a world that might be more dangerous than the one she comes from, and into a battle that she has no idea she's joined.

She gets drawn into it when her young friend, the daughter of the owner of the estate Lee lives on, goes missing in the bayou. Lee knows exactly what happened, exactly which monster swallowed her whole.
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Format: Paperback
I bought Love's webcomic compilation BAYOU on a lark -- and found it to be exceptional. A young child's adventure - with magic-realist elements - taking place in the sharecropping South of the early 20th Century. Love tells a compelling story - albeit with some one-note characterizations of the supporting cast - filled with memorable imagery and nice hooks. I heartily recommend it as a break from traditional masked adventure comics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Bayou (Volume One) by Jeremy Love. This was my first encounter with a graphic novel, and I am impressed. Contrary to one reviewer who states he/she stayed up all night reading it, you can read it cover to cover in about an hour. A graphic novel uses artwork to replace most of its words, so there is very little writing. You will spend more time analyzing the artwork to follow the plot than you will spend actually reading the story. With this said, the artwork is very powerful. It conveys many emotions and deals with some of the "not so nice" parts of American history, specifically Southern racism.

Due to its content, I would recommend this novel to mature young adult readers. The artwork may appeal to a younger reader, but the theme of the story isn't to be taken lightly. Racism has been deeply rooted in the South, and that is not new to us. However, younger readers may be deeply affected by some of the graphics (including lynchings, a child being swallowed by a giant, "violence" in general, etc.). I only recall one instance where profanity was used.

Love plays on the phenomenon of a fantasy-like world where Lee, a young African American girl, sets out to save her father by delivering the truth. Her daddy has been accused of a crime that he did not commit. In a "white world" he is destined to be lynched. Lee wants to prove his innocence. The world she ventures into mirrors the world she lives in." I believe that the Kansas City Star sums it best by saying this novel is "Spellbinding...powerful stuff, filled with hope and hate and trust and betrayal." The truth is, our world can be not so pleasant at times. This should not surprise anyone, but may leave younger readers full of questions and mixed emotions.

It will leave you hanging, so I encourage you to purchase Volume Two with this book. There will be a Volume Three available in the future.
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