DayBlack #1-2

DayBlack promo image

DayBlack by Keef Cross is a distinctively designed digital comic with a similarly unusual premise. A slave, picking cotton, is set upon by a vampire and turned. Now, Merce is a tattoo artist in small-town Georgia, a profession that allows him to drain blood while injecting ink. Also, the town is so polluted that the sky is always dark, perfect for his condition.

Cross’ comic isn’t paneled in the typical fashion; instead, he captions his strongly designed, often full-page, images, mostly with his character’s internal monologue. You can see sample pages that demonstrate the technique at this CBR review. He’s a tattoo artist, which likely influences the use of strong central images, as well as showing he knows what he’s writing about.

The first issue (released in January) is all about setting up the premise and spelling out some of the vampire rules for this character. Issue #2 (March) gives us the conflict: Merce is having disturbing dreams, flashbacks to his mother, and he’s developed a form of narcolepsy, falling asleep during his work. We also meet Mya, a fellow tattoist and co-worker.

The series is interesting for being so different, with influences far afield from the usual comic artist. I don’t know that I’m that interested in what’s going on with Merce, but I found the stories of the various tattoo customers intriguing, if frequently disturbing. The series is bi-monthly, with the next issue due in May. You can buy issues from the publisher’s website.

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