COMICS RETROSPECTIVE: Southern Bastards Vol 3: The Sordid Hijinks of Craw County folks.

This one's for Dad.

Jason Aaron and I have a few things in common: 1) we both love comic books, 2) we both love football, and 3) we both love crime fiction. So when Jason Aaron decided to take a crack at writing a southern fried football crime comic, it's like he's speaking my language. Despite my doubts, and the fact that Aaron is a heathen Roll Tide fan, I was willing to give it a shot.

I've been consistently surprised with this series, mostly in a pleasant way. I've been impressed by this series' constant ability to keep us invested, despite the premise being as ridiculous as it is. The two Jasons have managed to craft a harsh, mean, and compelling story about tough old southern guys dishing out mean unpleasantries to anyone who gets in their way. It's not always pretty, and it's not always nice. But it is compelling in all the ways a good story should be.

As I've noted before, Aaron has a habit of repeating himself in his stories. Not really in theme, but in his set-ups and pay-offs. In this volume, we end up taking a backseat to the main story as we become flies on the wall to the colorful characters of Craw County. This was particularly interesting to me, as the one-off stories were some of my favorite parts in Aaron's previous effort, Scalped. Aaron once again shows what he's gifted at: getting into the characters' heads and seeing what makes them tick and make the choices that they do. Aaron continues at a strong pace with the one-offs like he did with Scalped, only now he has a better story and better pacing to complement what he's attempting to convey with the one-offs.

Aaron's other great skill is his use of set-up and pay-off, and the storytelling is very subtle (for the most par