Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review: DUSK Vol. One

Dusk is the brainchild of writer David Doub and promises a different take on the world of vampires. Volume One is a four chapter black & white graphic novel, although I couldn't find a page count and I'm far too lazy to attempt one, hehe. Anyway, production value is pretty standard with the highlight being nice cover stock featuring a superbly moody work by Brett Middleton.

The interior art varies from chapter to chapter. Credits go to Maki Naro, Jerry Gonzales, and Franc Czuba. Obviously each has their own style, but all seem influenced to various degrees by manga and underground comix. Workmanlike efforts, unfortunately there were a couple scattered panels that were hard to follow.

The heart and soul of this work is the writing of Doub. Both plot and dialogue are above par, and one becomes immediately intrigued by his creations. The chapters mostly revolve around the female character of Eve, who is something of a mortal "enforcer" for the vampire Ash. They are somehow involved in what could be construed as a vampire "justice" group, although the specifics are never made clear in this volume. To loosely paraphrase Henry Hill, they seem to be "a police department for vampires." Strangely enough, I was reading the chapter in whence a vampire is "arrested" for collaborating with the National Socialists, just as Cleveland resident John Demyanyuk (sp?) was being extradited from the US to Germany for accussations of war crimes. Weird.
A plea to ALL aspiring comic writers: use NARRATIVE PANELS! They go a long way in giving the lowdown to the reader. Also, if you are working with underdeveloped artistic talent, I would shy away from panel after panel of action w/out text.
Oh, here is a much deserved bit of praise to whoever (the letterer?) laid out the dialogue balloons in this book. Great job! I see WAY too often in indy comics word balloons with horrible placement, in which you end up reading out of sequence. Not the case here. Kudos!

Regardless, it certainly is a different look at the world of vampirism, and with the interesting characters laid out within, this reader can hardly wait to get the scoop on unanswered questions (and there are MANY items not adequately addressed) when Volume Two comes around.

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