DayBlack was a bit of surprise for me when I first read it, but it’s a title I quickly came to enjoy. There’s something laidback and cool about this title and in some ways it brings back the romantic aspect of vampire lore. Instead of a smooth talking well-dressed dude it’s a slick dressed tattoo artist that rocks a guitar. In the last issue Merce’s narcolepsy forced him to kill a customer to protect his reputation, but upon burying her he was confronted by a Hunter. This issue kicks off in the past with Merce watching a “save the children” commercial. He’s sees a child who’s eyes are full of rage and something about the kid makes him call and donate money to raise that particular boy. The years pass by and suddenly the boy shows up on his doorstep and tells him he’s a hunter and that he knows he’s a vampire.
Flash forward to the present and the Hunter standing over Merce is the same boy, but he’s older now of course. They shoot the shit for a minute, but it’s clear that Merce is no longer in danger… from his surrogate son at least. He’s informed that there are several Hunters moving in on the town that are on trial of two different vampires. Merce is concerned because he doesn’t want his town turning into vamp paradise since it would basically ruin it for him. He decides he needs to take something to stay awake and become alert and so he decides to visit one of his donors to get a fix.
What continues to be the strength of this series is the narration. The way that Merce walks the reader through his past, but then also any pertinent information to the story; for instance the way that he gets his fix is to have his donor take a lethal amount of drugs and then he drinks her blood and gets the high from it.
The third act of this issue was very cool so I don’t want to spoil it, but it’ll definitely have me and anyone else reading the series, back for the next issue. I desperately want to talk about the last panel, but I won’t. I will say that it’s an abrupt ending of sorts, but it works for the story.
Keef Cross continues to craft an interesting world of vampires and hunters. Sure that idea alone isn’t new, but his presentation and narration is what makes it unique and interesting. Again, Cross’ narration is very strong and reminds me a lot of a novel, but it works for this comic.
There isn’t a leap in improvement with this issue from the last in terms of the art; instead Cross maintains the distinct style of the series. I really enjoy the all black, white and red nature of the story as it plays up the narrative. In some ways the style reminds me of negative scratch art due to the extra line work. It’s a very distinct style, but it’s one that I really enjoy because it gives each panel and page an iconic look.
There’s definitely a resurgence of vampire stories in comic books as of late and while I’m not looking to overdose on the genre, I am getting my fix with DayBlack. If you’re a fan of the genre or even feeling burnt out on the stuff currently out, I would recommend checking this series out because a great comic can refresh any reader.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Keef Cross Publisher: Rosarium Publishing Price: $1.99 Release Date: 5/7/14 Website