DayBlack – Keef Cross

Written and illustrated by Keef Cross, DayBlack is a graphic novel that introduces Merce, a vampire with narcolepsy who sleeps in a very cool coffin. Currently spending his time in a small town called DayBlack in Georgia, where the pollution is so all consuming it blocks out the sun, it’s the perfect place to be a vampire.

Having tried out other occupations including mercenary and astronaut, he’s currently a tattoo artist that specialises in black and grey tattoos with occasional red, because vampires are colour blind with the exception of red (fortunately).

Because of the risk of HIV, Merce doesn’t obtain his blood the clichéd way. Instead he’s rigged his tattoo machine to simultaneously ink people as well as extract their blood into a coffee machine. Unfortunately this new method has some side effects – narcolepsy and bizarre dreams.

Merce sponsors and later becomes a foster parent to Rodamez. Ironically his sponsorship money was spent training Rodamez to become a vampire hunter, which makes for some awkward moments between the two.

Keef Cross is an incredible illustrator and has played around with vampire mythology, incorporating the well known with the innovative. While I appreciated the artwork and the premise I don’t feel like I was a member of the target audience. I wanted a more cohesive storyline and considering this graphic novel was Volume 1, I expected for it to sink its teeth into me (sorry, I had to!) and make me eager to read on to find out what happens in Volume 2. Sadly this didn’t happen for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Rosarium Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

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.

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