The comic Bayou follows a time honored fantasy tradition of young girls exploring other worlds — think Alice and her journey into Wonderland, Wendy traveling to the stars with Peter Pan, Dorothy being swept to Oz in a tornado, and more modern incarnations such as of Helena from Mirrormask and Ofelia from Pan’s Labyrinth. Lee is another young girl in that tradition, swept into another world to compete with supernatural forces she knows little or nothing about, but Bayou carries an additional socio-political layer.
Lee is a little black girl in American South in 1933. Her life is complicated by the huge social and political problems of her time. Her world is one of pain and prejudice, of being unfairly accused because by virtue of her skin color she’s considered less than human, a world where black boys are hung while grown white men gather to watch him swing, a world where a little girl is the only hope is saving her father from that same fate. The ongoing webcomic is hosted and free to view, along with many others, at Zuda Comics, the online branch of DC. Bayou has gotten so much commercial and critical praise that DC is releasing it in print form — the first trade paperback is due in June.