Thursday, March 23, 2017

Black Kiss 2 – review

Author/artist: Howard Chaykin

First published: 2015

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Nearly 25 years ago, Howards Chaykin brought the '80s to a close, and comics to the brink, with his landmark erotic thriller, Black Kiss. Now, after years of anticipation, he's back with Black Kiss II, telling the story behind that legendary story — like the original, in glorious black and white. And really, now — does it have to be so dirty?

The review: knowing that the second Black Kiss trade paperback was written after such a gap and was a prequel I expected this to be concentrated on Beverley (it is) and her decent into vampirism in the 20s.

The story actually starts before then, highlighting the impact of cinema (and devolving into a strange hentai-esque show in 1906). It then shows how her husband to be, Charles “Bubba” Kenton”, was turned himself – on board the sinking Titanic – as he is raped by an hermaphrodite succubus.

Having established such a backstory (and also established that, like the first Black Kiss, this is most definitely not for children or the easily shocked) I expected the full length of the graphic to follow Beverley (or Eunice, as she is originally called) as she is seduced by Kenton but that happens speedily and the tale is more vignettes moving forward through time – with very little solid plotting – just sex and blood.

Of course, given she was human, I didn’t expect Dagmar to be part of the tale but it turns out that Dagmar was the fourth Dagmar who Beverley kept as a thrall and one lost some of the suspension of disbelief as Beverley found transgendered thrall after thrall who was willing to serve her and become her new Dagmar, and also looked just like her.

The artwork is of the same basic style and the content as wildly deviant as the original but I expected more of a solid plot and was not as impressed with this return to the world of Black Kiss. 6 out of 10.

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