Story by: Shawn Aldridge Art by: Scott Godlewski Colors by: Patricia Mulvihill Letters by: Clem Robins Published by: Vertigo Comics
The Dark & Bloody is a darkly delicious slice of horror which features a very distinctive and ominous evil, amid a very human story. This is a story that as you read it, you go through the typical emotions elicited by such a tale. However, while the story is laid out in a simple but unhurried manner by Shawn Aldridge, there is a definite skill in how the book unfolds, how the mounting drama escalates, and how the culmination of the piece comes together. This issue is set firmly within the heart of the family – which is a very effective ploy, in terms of relatability. The peril of the piece comes from a monstrous creature, which has been spectacularly rendered by Scott Godlewski. The avian hybrid terror is a grotesque terror to behold. It brings a menace that is very palpable to the proceedings. The character design work is spot on and thanks to this, we have a creature that leaves a lasting impression. There is depth to the terror of The Dark & Bloody, one that works on a psychological level, as well as being a clear threat.
The art on The Dark & Bloody is very solid. We have a mix of the monstrous and the humane, of very real familial tension and bloody horror. Amid these varied aspects the art never flags from the solid start right until the close. The highlights definitely reside in the elements of horror, each panel at these moments is truly captivating; if you enjoy darker comics this will definitely sate your thirst. Overall the comic is a well worked effort from the team. The story is both horrific and firmly a human tale. The script rattles along at a decent pace, there’s no bloating to the story, but a quality story told well. The natural conclusion to the issue falls perfectly at the finale – Shawn Aldridge, on the evidence of this comic, certainly understands the craft of composing a comic script, of the balance between the elements of plot, of pace, of dialogue. With solid characterisation and equally adept art this is a winning combination in terms of a sequential story.