Teenage cancer patient Trick is on the hunt for vampires, after a vicious one who poisoned himself with Trick’s chemo laced blood, has murdered Trick’s best friend Kyle.
This absorbing story of friendship, grief, loyalty and revenge has some fantastic writing and gorgeous artwork. The script by Jonathan Maberry is wonderful in its own right; in tandem with Tyler Crook’s beautiful and haunting art this book is one of the best new comics out there.
When Trick meets emotionally damaged goth chick Lolly outside a club he initially suspects that she is a vampire. When it becomes clear that she isn’t and that instead she’s just into vampires and fetishism, Trick enlists her in his hunt for vampires to kill. Opting to try the underground S and M clubs that Lolly sometimes goes to, Trick is introduced to a whole new community and subculture and starts to learn more about Lolly and her need to belong to a group of like minded people.
In spite of being a vampire story it’s this exploration of lonely, damaged people and their quest to find meaning in their lives that is the beating pulse of the story. Maberry is confident enough in his partner’s skills to let facial expressions and body postures do a lot of the talking and Tyler Crook’s magnificently expressive art communicates the unspoken emotional truths of characters brilliantly. With a style reminiscent of Herge, this is like a nightmare vision of Tintin where Snowy is a stripper and Tintin has cancer. As well as this there are little nods to classic paintings like Nighthawks or The Scream and it’s equally confident depicting a roadside diner as it is a seamy sex club.
Likewise, Maberry shows a deft touch with the story often taking shocking, unexpected turns. Like much great works of genre fiction – and make no mistake this a great work – Bad Blood uses the trappings of the genre to explore universal thoughts and feelings. This melancholy story of loss and revenge is only two issues in and it already has me by the jugular.
INTERIOR ARTWORK PREVIEW
(Click image to view full page)
The writer of this piece was: Joe Morrison
Joe is Freelance film journalist based in Glasgow.
You can also find Joe on Twitter.