Written & Illustrated by Keef Cross
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Cover Price: $1.99
DayBlack is a new kind of comics reading experience. It’s more like an art book than a traditional comic book, containing many full-page, striking illustrations, each worthy of framing. A couple of pages contain collages of images/logos from hip-hop culture (MF Doom!), adding to the already unique nature of how creator Keef Cross is telling us this story.
The artwork is super-cool. Thirty-two pages of high-contrast black and white illustrations that reminded me Damion Scott and Jim Mahfood, Jose Munoz, and even Rick Geary in some spots. But make no mistake, Keef Cross has a unique style all his own.
The story concerns the birth of Merce, a vampire who “lives” in a town called DayBlack. I loved Cross’ take on vampirism and the Holy Cross, and why it has no effect on Merce. Simple. Brilliant. On the other hand, the explanation as to why the HIV virus came into being was slightly off-putting — in a way that certain real horrors from our world given fantastical origins in genre fiction, feel wrong — but I may be alone in that regard, and it’s a minor point in the story, anyway.
I’m not a fan of the over-saturation of vampires in current pop culture. I lean towards the old-school when it comes to vampires in comics, preferring Marvel’s Dracula and Blade. But this is a completely fresh take on the subject and worthy of a large audience.
Only one issue in, and I can see enough material for a movie. Seriously. There is a strong, compelling concept at play here.