DayBlack – Keef Cross

Beneath the polluted clouds of DayBlack, Georgia, exists a murderer. After hundreds of years of killing to survive, he no longer wants to simply exist . . . he wants to live. DayBlack is the story of Merce, a former slave who was bitten by a vampire in the cotton fields. Four hundred years later, he works as a tattoo artist in the small town of DayBlack. The town has a sky so dense with pollution that the sun is nowhere to be seen, allowing Merce to move about freely, night or day. Even darker than the clouds are the dreams he’s been having that are causing him to fall asleep at the most awkward times (even while he’s tattooing someone). As he struggles to decipher his dreams, someone from his past returns with plans for him–plans that will threaten his new way of life and turn him back into the cold-hearted killer he once was.                    –Netgalley.com

 

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This book has a spot in my heart. When I first began reading it, I was reading at a snail’s pace because I think my mind was trying to catch up with the fact that this was unlike any comic I had read before …and it was amazing. The art of Keef Cross [@KEEFCROSS] is like some of the best folk art I’ve ever seen mixed with some eclectic and mind-blowing tattoo art. The frames are well placed and paced…as one would expect when the artist is also the writer. It may be that the fact that this graphic novel is both written and drawn by Cross that makes it so flawless. It could also be the fresh concept of the book that makes it so special. While vampire centric stories are anything but a fresh concept– this story of a vampire that was “turned” while working a cotton field and is now working as a tattoo artist in a place that is without any day-light, is truly unique and written brilliantly.

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“Living forever is like playing a game with all the cheat codes. Yeah it’s fun in the beginning, but after a while, it’s just unfulfilling.”

 


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As soon as I was introduced to Merce, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) came to mind. Partly because, very quickly, the story Cross was telling had a theatrical feel and I had just seen Life of Crime, in which Bey was playing the character of Ordell Robbie and that little bit of himself that enriches all his roles. As I continue to read DayBlack…I will probably be envisioning it as a movie starring Yasiin Bey…can’t help it. This frame didn’t help it…
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This trailer gives me hope that there will one day be a DayBlack film:

I loved everything about it. The story had depth and humor and I can’t wait for more.

Digital Copies of the individual issues are available from the good folks at Comixology. Issues are available on a print-on-demand basis from IndyPlanet.

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