Review: Me and the Devil Blues: The Unreal Life of Robert Johnson, Volume 1

Me and the Devil Blues: The Unreal Life of Robert Johnson, Volume 1
Me and the Devil Blues: The Unreal Life of Robert Johnson, Volume 1 by Akira Hiramoto
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting supernatual reimagining on the life of bluesman Robert Johnson. Seeing that most of his life is undocumented, Hiramoto has taken the legend of Johnson meeting up with the devil and running with it. He also brings in Clyde of Bonnie and Clyde fame, and pairs him with Johnson in a strange, mad partnership that has them caterwauling across the south.

The manga gets nice and spooky during the supernatural bits, but even if you take out the supernatural, there are times when it’s freaky, such as when Johnson gets captured by a bunch of men who’s looking to do a lynching. Among them is a young white boy, who casually says the n-word and treats the upcoming lynching like a day at the circus. And the knowledge that people truly did make festivals out of lynchings truly is chilling.

I would say though that Clyde’s appearance slowly takes over Johnson’s storyline, which is why I liked the second volume less. But as a supernatural imagining, this was pretty good.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Me and The Devil Blues! I read pretty far into it years ago but never finished it…AMAZING art and I can hardly believe some Japanese people captured what it was like to be black in the segregation south so authentically…amazing story, I read a fan translation, I should see if it’s available to buy in english yet.

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