Set in the heart of the swamp, Roadkill Du Jour is a story about a cursed biker, now only able to eat roadkill and drawing powers from his meals. With these powers, he plans to get revenge on Mama Houdoo, the woman who cursed him and took the woman that he loved. With a young companion and two trusty motorcycles, Du Jour heads deeper into the swamp, looking for more allies and heading closer to his confrontation with Mama Houdoo.
Finding a dead turtle and dead vulture on the road, Du Jour takes a bite of the vulture to get its wings, and carries the turtle along for bait. Heading deeper into the swamp, Du Jour drops the turtle into the water, causing a huge, humanoid catfish to appear. Turns out, this catfish is actually Chucklehead, an old friend of Du Jour’s. Both men have been cursed by Mama Houdoo and band together to hunt her down. Using some magic trickery, Mama Houdoo is able to steal a pregnant woman from Du Jour and friends, making Du Jour want to give up, but his new brothers-in-arms remind him that there is still a mission.
Kevin LaPorte‘s writing is good in this issue. The pacing is quick, adding a new companion to Du Jour’s team in just a few pages, but it doesn’t feel rushed. Some characters could stand a better introduction, but it’s sure to be more revealed in time. As with the previous issue, the dialogue is full of Southern slang and dialect, which puts the right sort of mood into the story. While some might find it a bit hard to decipher the dialect, as someone from the Deep South, it seems right somehow. The addition of another animal-based character, though in a different vein than Du Jour, was interesting, and a catfish seems like the perfect choice. Du Jour’s despair in the last page or two, was a bit unexpected, but showed a more human side to the currently vulture-like biker.
The art from Shawn Harbin really shined in this issue. Du Jour’s new transformation into a giant vulture man gave Harbin something interesting to work with, and he did a great job with it. The wings and bird head of Du Jour looked great, and the transformation within the panel, as he slowly sprouted wings and feathers was very well done. Chuckledhead, Du Jour’s catfish companion, was also brought to life in a good way. Take a fish and making them humanoid isn’t always easy, but the arms and upright posture of Chucklehead seemed natural, and his goggles while riding the motorcycle only made him seem more human.
With a setting and characters well at home in the South and a great creative team, Roadkill Du Jour is an indie book worth reading. For this reviewer, the setting and characters only add to the charm. Fresh off a successful Kickstarter campaign, issues of the book will soon be available for purchase from Inverse Press‘s webstore.
Parental Concern: Moderate. Blood and violence.
Leo does the weekly Comics for Noobs here on the blog, spotlighting new issues and arcs for readers new to comics. He also does a review or two here and there. He can often be found on Twitter as @LFLJ tweeting about comics, webcomics, podcasts, and the people that he, unfortunately, works with.