Review: Justin Gray Presents Jail Bait and Trailer Trash

Jail Bait and Trailer Trash Cover
Jail Bait and Trailer Trash
is a collection of short stories from one of my favorite authors, Justin Gray. The stories, “Suburban Infidels, “An Obscure and Vanishing Tribe,” and the titular “Jail Bait and Trailer Trash” are inspired by the works of David Lynch, Barry Gifford, Raymond Carver, and John Cheever.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Gray’s work and backed Hype and Abbadon, his last two Kickstarter graphic novels co-written with Jimmy Palmiotti. So, I had an idea of what to expect going in. Having only heard of Lynch, though, I was a bit worried I’d be missing out on some aspects of the comic.

Luckily for me, and hopefully other readers, Jail Bait and Trailer Trash can be read without a familiarity of the people it takes inspiration from. Even better, the collection might be some of the greatest work that Justin Gray has ever written.

jail bait and trailer trash review An Obscure and Vanishing Tribe

I’ll admit that sitting down and reading Jail Bait and Trailer Trash was an emotional experience for me. After finishing the collection, I had to get up and go for a walk to clear my head. The stories are a perfect mesh of Gray’s dark and comedic storytelling but each one, in their own way, portrayed a generational gap that is very noticeable in America today.

I won’t comment on the political climate, but I will say that Gray navigates the divide with respect and a sense of humor. From a misogynistic old man giving dating advice to a young Korean barista to a son reflecting on his family after his mother’s burial, Jail Bait and Trailer Trash stabs at the heart strings between each laugh.

Acceptance, love, and freedom are themes present in all three stories. Despite their stylistic and tonal differences, Jail Bait and Trailer Trash,” “An Obscure and Vanishing Tribe,” and “Suburban Infidels” feel like necessary reads for people of any age. Seriously, you want this collection on your bookshelf, not just for the amazing writing, but for the art as well.

jail bait and trailer trash review Suburban Infidels

There are three different artists for this collection, one for each story, and the distinct styles keep the book fresh and engaging. Prior to reading Jail Bait and Trailer Trash, I had never heard of Jhomar Soriano, David Brame, or Paul Tucker, but these guys put their heart and soul into this book.

Tucker, in particular, stood out on “Suburban Infidels” with his pencils and color work feeling reminiscent of Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser collaborations. Each of these guys are now on my radar and I want to read as many comics from them as humanly possible.

From the campaign page, it is absolutely clear that this is a passion project for Gray. On top of writing each story, he also colored most of the collection under the pen name Benny Lava. For someone who never colored a comic professionally before, Gray’s colors actually compliment the pencils on “Jail Bait and Trailer Trash” and “An Obscure and Vanishing Tribe” really well. Before writing this, I read his article on Bleeding Cool about never coloring again but I would love to see more color work from him

If you’re familiar with the work of Justin Gray, Jail Bait and Trailer Trash is going to be right up your alley. The short stories speak volumes to his growth as a writer over the past 16 years in the comic book industry and the collection will go down as one of his best.

jail bait and trailer trash review

The campaign to fund the comic is running up until March 23rd, so back this book and get a copy of your own as soon as you can. Trust me, it’s worth every penny and so much more. There’s even a reward tier for a collection of Gray’s scripts that I am dying to get my hands on.

If you want to see more from Justin Gray, be sure to follow him on Twitter at @JVGray and check out his work on www.paperfilms.com.  Interested in this Kickstarter campaign? Don’t worry, the link to the campaign can be found here.

Photos courtesy of Justin Gray.

Jail Bait and Trailer Trash

Jail Bait and Trailer Trash
60

Originality

10/10

    Production

    10/10

      Acting

      0/10

        Writing

        10/10

          Nerdiness

          0/10

            Pros

            • Laugh out loud humor
            • Breathtaking panel work
            • Kinetic storytelling

            Cons

            • Nothing, this is perfection

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            comments

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