Written by: Larime Taylor
Art by: Larime Tayloe
Publisher: Top Cow / Image
It’s always nice when a comic has a backstory just as interesting as the comic itself, helps when writing an introduction! This book is a sequel to the original “A Voice in the Dark” series which started life as a kickstarter project before writer/artist Larime Taylor was snapped up by Top Cow who subsequently published the rest of the series. We see this story a lot, though what makes it interesting is that Taylor actually suffers from Arthrogryposis, a condition which affects the use of his arms and legs meaning he has to draw using his mouth. This is something I wasn’t aware of until after reading the comic and something I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise as this is one high quality comic book.
The biggest strength of the book is the sense of unease Taylor manages to create. The art itself has a strangely calm feeling to it, though not in a relaxing sense, but one that creates the sort of tension wherein you’re constantly expecting something to go wrong. The backgrounds add to this feeling of unease, they have a real minimalist design which creates a surreal element to the book. In contrast to the backgrounds, the characters themselves are highly detailed and all look great; each actually feels like a real human which gives them a grounded sense amid the disturbing horror elements of the series.
The characters themselves, particularly the serial killers, and are uncomfortably easy to relate to. Anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider or has ever had a bit of anger against the world should be able to find something to relate to with Zoey and Rio (though hopefully not enough that you decide to follow in their footsteps). As well as being relatable, the characters themselves are also rather interesting; much of the issues is written in the form of a diary by Zoey so we’re able to get a feeling of her character quite quickly. Her interactions with fellow killer Rio are also highly entertaining, their dialogue together is humours, though still uncomfortable in accordance with the rest of the issue.
My only real complaint is that it can be a little hard to follow in places on the first reading. Being a sequel to a book I hadn’t read I was expecting this, and to the book’s credit it does feature a recap as well as introductions and back stories to the major characters though at times it can be a little hard to determine some of the character’s motivations and relations to each other. A second read through cleared up most of my issues, though it’d definitely mean more if I’d read the first volume.
Despite this however, I still highly recommend checking out this series. This issues feels pretty unique from other comics on the stands and has an interesting hook that makes me want to read the rest of the series. If you have the cash though, I’d recommend reading the original “A voice in the Dark” series first (something I now certainly plan to do), though this can still be read and enjoyed by a new reader and I whole heartedly recommend it. Taylor seems like a great up and coming talent, I’m excited to see where he goes from here.