Thee Comic Column #104: The Return of A Voice in the Dark

A-Voice-In-the-Dark-Get-Your-Gun-1-CoverIt feels like MONTHS since Larime Taylor’s first story arc on his creator-owned A Voice in the Dark ended and I’ve felt pretty much every day since then, waiting for the new arc/new issue. If you read the book you know how damn good it is; a smart and sophisticated street-level story about a college student named Zoey who struggles – along with all the normal social and psychological struggles a college-aged girl would have – with having awakened an appetite for murder within herself after avenging a social wrong done to her best friend during the closing days of Zoey’s high school career. Originally Zoey thinks leaving home to attend college will remove her dark urges, but it’s not long before she finds herself once again in a position to justify murder. Things are complicated further when Zoey, whose uncle Zeke just happens to be a local homicide detective in the cozy college town of Cutter Circle, becomes involved in a whodunit on campus after young coeds begin turning up wearing their insides on the outside. Zoey’s position as the host of an anonymous call-in radio show meant to help both herself and other students vent their dark desires puts her in the middle of things, and as the story progresses Zoey finds she is anything but rehabilitated from her own dark longings…

Yikes, right? If it sounds A) creepy, B) psychologically fascinating, C) juicy and D) somewhat disturbing I can guarantee that it is indeed all of those things, and together those qualities combine with the crisp, no-frills writing and very diverse cast of characters Larime renders into beautiful life with his uniquely enchanting artistic style make this one of my top three books. Like I said earlier, along with The Walking Dead and Rachel Rising this is a book that I simply can NOT wait to read every month.

And it’s in trouble. So once again I write my thoughts on what I believe is a contemporary comics classic here so that you, oh wonderful readers, might be inspired to go out and help support a great artist, a great book and a truly original story. Comics don’t have too many of those; nothing against the regular superhero fair – believe me, I LOVE a lot of it right now – but A Voice in the Dark is like nothing

We’ve had Larime on Drinking with Comics and I have to tell you, not only is the book fantastic but the man himself is an inspiration. Having been born with Arthrogryposis  it is without the use of his arms and his legs that he writes, draws, inks… the whole nine yards folks. Larime is an amazing person, a fantastically gifted talent and a fresh voice in the medium. So please, pick this up (the trade for the first seven issues is also now available, which is good because believe me, you will want to catch up after you read Get Your Gun, Part 1!)

I’ll admit that it is completely insane to me that a book that garners such great reviews does not do better than it does sales wise. A lot of people I’ve heard speak to this  – Larime and publisher Top Cow among them –  think this is primarily for two reasons. One, people don’t know where to jump on and B) it’s *gasp* in black and white. Well, now there’s a solution to that as well. As I said at the beginning of this piece A Voice in the Dark has returned after a short two month pause, and it’s returned with a brand new arc that starts at issue #1 and, with the help of a few very succinct and complete bullet points on the inside front cover, is a perfect jumping on point  for new readers. It also returns true believers, in FULL COLOR! Yes, that’s right folks. Originally Larime’s wife Sylv – who has provided colors on the covers in the past was supposed to ink this book, and she is still going to according to Larime. However, due to some brief health issues the couple turned to Las Vegas artist Jay Savage to provide the colors, and I’ll tell you what – they’re gorgeous! Look at the tone here:

avitdgyg001-preview03-3227f

 

So nicely done Mr. Savage.

Okay, so this isn’t the first time I’ve written something in an attempt to incite people to buy this book. I picked up the first issue of A Voice in the Dark on a lark back in early 2014 and immediately fell in love with Zoey and her struggle, her world. Then I learned about the creator, met him and all I can say is if I could convince everyone who reads comics to read just one book outside their comfort zone it would definitely be this one. I believe so strongly in the strength of this story, of where it is going and what it says about the people and the world in general that I’ll be happy to write 100 more articles. But hopefully that won’t need to be the case, because hopefully people will get hip to the awesomeness of Larime Taylor and his marvelous teenage serial killer!

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

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