All this month I'll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note - since this month is so relatively short, I'll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
Today we take a look at Keef Cross' DayBlack #1.
DayBlack is a remarkable visual accomplishment by Cross. I mean, my goodness does this guy know how to design a page. It's like you're watching a series of stunning paintings. Really amazing work. Just outstanding.
That is not to diminish the story, of course, but just to note that Cross' design work is so outstanding.
The story, by the way, is that hundreds of years ago when he was a slave picking cotten, Merce was bitten and turned into a vampire. In the present day, he makes a living as a tattoo artist where he has developed a special tattoo gun that also serves to steal blood from people while giving them tattoos. We see Merce in a typical day in his life while we know that SOMEthing will be happening to Merce to change his life (or I guess his afterlife) in the next issue. But as far as introductory issues go, this was excellent.
It's fascinating to see which aspects of the vampire culture that writers go with when they make their vampires. Here's a sequence where Merce explains this universe's rules for what religious objects can hurt him...
And I love this page where he explains why "living" 400 years is not all it is cracked up to be.
Cross does an amazing little montage after this of Merce's past jobs.
Clearly, that comment by Merce is the heart of this series - this is somebody who wants a reason to go on "living" besides the fact that he can't die. He wants something to get him out of his coffin in the morning. I can't wait until I see what it is (I won't have to wait long - the second issue is due out in a month!).
But really, man, how amazing are the designs on those pages? Crazy, right? Cross is such a talented artist. So good!
You can buy the first issue here.