Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Advanced Comics Review: "BIG GUNS STUPID REDNECKS #1" Makes a Strong Debut


STORY: Austin Allen Hamblin
ART: Mariana Meira
COLORS: Mariana Meira
LETTERS: John Ira Thomas
COVER: Kurt Belcher
VARIANT COVER: Mariana Meira
Color, $4.99 U.S. (August 2024)

Big Guns Stupid Rednecks is a three-issue miniseries written by Austin Allen Hamblin and drawn and colored by Mariana Meira.  Published by Band of Bards, the first issue will arrive in August.  Letterer John Ira Thomas completes the creative team.

Big Guns Stupid Rednecks #1 introduces Clint, a retired police detective who has been investigating a string of unexplained disappearances in the southern part of the United States.  However, the investigation brings in the specter of Clint's younger brother, Clay.  Twelve years younger than Clint, Clay is pure white trash – and missing.

Clint and Clay's sister, Jo, insists that the former search for the latter, but Clint's search ends up with him being abducted... by aliens.  Intergalactic cable's biggest hit show is “Big Guns Stupid Rednecks,” a laser-gun gladiatorial combat competition.  The aliens need a steady supply of rednecks, which they get by kidnapping them from Earth.  Clint is about to discover who the reigning champion – with 27 kills – is, and plans are for Clint to be the next kill.

THE LOWDOWN:  Austin Allen Hamblin hooked me up with a PDF review copy of Big Guns Stupid Rednecks #1.  It is the first Band of Bards publication that I have read.

I am more than pleasantly surprised by Big Guns Stupid Rednecks.  It reminds me of some of the offbeat science fiction comic books that Aftershock Comics, AWA Studios, and Titan Comics have published.  Some of the edge and humor of venerable sci-fi/fantasy anthologies, such as Heavy Metal and 2000AD is here, with the flavor of some of Fantagraphics Books' weirder 1980s genre titles hanging around the periphery.

Hamblin's story engages the imagination, and his script gleefully attacks rednecks.  There is never a moment when it feels as if Hamblin is going to pander or soften his blows.  He eagerly plays with the possibilities of this concept, and, while he plays it a tad bit too cute here and there, the story is clever.  As his career expands, I expect that Hamblin may be bringing some needed levity and imagination to a few Marvel and DC Comics' titles within a few years.

Mariana Meira's art is stylish and visually appealing.  Her storytelling is solid and takes Hamblin's script and makes it hum with humor and imagination.  This first issue works because Meira knows about capturing the right mood and right tone at the appropriate time.  The lettering by John Ira Thomas, the writer of the award-winning horror original graphic novel, Lost in the Wash, adds a sparkle to the humor with his lettering.

I hope Big Guns Stupid Rednecks #1 ends up being an unexpected hit.  I would hope, however, that word of mouth will be so strong that by the time it arrives, readers will already be waiting for it.  I did not expect such a strong debut, and I'm still shocked twenty-four hours after reading it.  Big Guns Stupid Rednecks #1 is by no means perfect, but it is the perfect way to make a first impression.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of outrageous sci-fi comedy and of 2000AD will want to give Big Guns Stupid Rednecks a try.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a/ "I Reads You"

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  1. You're welcome. Big Guns Stupid Rednecks #1 deserves the praise and hopefully, readers will think it deserves a first-issue purchase... at the very least.