Monday, April 05, 2010

Dusk – review

Author: David Doub

Pencils: Maki Naro, Jerry Gonzales & Franc Czuba

Inks: Chris Scott & Jerry Gonzales

First Published: 2009

Contains spoilers

Getting a prose novel published is no easy feat and so I can only imagine how difficult it is to get your concept of a graphic novel published, especially due to the collaborative nature of such projects. David Doub had a story that he wanted to tell and he tells it in the independently published graphic novel Dusk. It is a tale of vampires but, more so, it is the tale of a human, known as Eve, who works for a vampire.

What Doub has created is a well composed tale that drips back history in a non-linear way that works really well, giving enough back-story to keep us intrigued as we face Eve’s trials and tribulations in the present.

In the present Eve works as an operative for a vampire named Ash, a creature determined to make the best of his situation as a vampire by keeping humanity safe from the more rogue elements of his world. Eve herself is unrequitedly in love with Ash and, it would appear, hooked to vampire blood. This, in itself is a double edged sword as she is given the blood in order to cope with the creatures she has to face but we actually see her reach junky-like for a vial of blood, taped beneath her bed, just to sleep at night.

In the past she had been a married woman who fled her abusive husband, straight into the path of the vampire Van Kraken, who recognised her latent occult abilities and made her his slave. Eventually (in stories as yet unseen) Ash rescues and frees her and it is glimmers of story like this that gives the book a wonderful depth and makes me want to read more of Eve’s story in the future. All told Doub has created a credible occult world with interesting characters. However, with graphic novels that is only half the story.

There are three pencillers involved with different chapters of Dusk, each has drawn the book in a stark black and white style but the quality of the artwork did seem to fluctuate and whilst the style worked, for the main part, it failed to take my breath away.

All told it was adequate to the job at hand and this seemed a shame as there is a plate at the back of the book (reproduced in this article), by Franc Czuba, that really raised the game and one wished that the whole book had looked that nice.

Nevertheless David Doub has created this book, all credit there, and bestowed upon us an interesting story that is well worth reading. A world of occult happenings, of good and bad vampires and a woman known as Eve; strong, sassy and yet, somehow, both vulnerable and fractured.

6.5 out of 10.


The Black Count said...

This looks interesting. At first from the cover I assumed it was a manga from the style of art there, but having three different artists is almost reminscent of recent anime outings such as Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight and the recent Dante's Inferno, seems to be the in-thing.

Still vampire comics are cool when done well, so I will try and get this. Speaking of vampire comics did you end reading that DEAD ROMEO mini-series from DC Comics?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

BC, as I say, the art generally is adequate and it is really the story that carries this one, the cover and the plate I have posted are the best artwork involved (and rather good I might add)

Dead Romeo is on my amazon wishlist (as one volume) at the moment.