The tension builds in consistently beautiful That Texas Blood #8: REVIEW

Written by: Chris Condon, Art, Colours, Letters by: Jacob Phillips.

Joe Bob is still haunted by a 40 year old case of a dead boy and missing girl. His nightmares are growing more and more violent as he reminisces about the old case. There is something that has really stuck out to him over the past 40 years. A private directive from LA, Mr Eversaul, was dealing with a missing persons case, possibly connected to the one Joe Bob was working on. When he met Joe Bob, he talked about the county attracting evil because of something in the soil. That’s the reason why so many bad things happen in this quiet place. This has stuck with him, could there really be a supernatural element that’s causing all these crazy events ?

We are now two issues into the new arc, and I can’t help but love the writing. Chris Condon has given us a rather slow issue here, with not much development, yet it’s still incredibly strong and compelling. It’s an issue full of conversations that give us more intrigue into the story from the 40 year old case, starting with a fantastic scene and monologue about Joe Bob and him being a Sheriff, while sitting with the girl at a campfire. This erupts into a beautiful full page of an explosion in the fire, which makes a face.

Now I’ve come to appreciate the beautiful artwork by Jacob Phillips more and more as the series goes on. This I was surprised by, as it’s not anything we have seen since issue one, so I was caught slightly off guard by it. I was also taken aback by how stunning it was. The artwork has been at a consistently high level that I can’t help but not say much about it. The colours are well balanced and I love how it’s ever so slightly grainy when it comes to the past. Other than that, the artwork has been so good I can’t complain about anything. I would say that I hope this level stays consistent throughout the series, but we are 8 issues in and not once can I think of it wavering even the slightest.

As I said above, this issue is heavy on the conversations. That's not something strange to this series, as the first arc was also a slow build. I remember comparing that first arc to the film No Country For Old Men, a slow build western thriller. The same simile applies here. The building of tension is masterful, as the suspense also builds as to whether there’s a connection between the past case and the present day. We are also getting callbacks to the first issue with the supernatural elements.

This really does feel like a mature book. It’s not a flashy series that has lots of quick quips and explosive action. This is a more thoughtful book that is based on developing the town and the sheriff. It does this incredibly well, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes a crime drama. I hope we get a lot more from this series, as it’s one that could go on for a long time telling the stories from the town, especially if we go a supernatural route, we could then dive into the county's history.

That Texas Blood issue 8 was released by Image Comics on 28th July from your Local Comic Shop as well as Comixology

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