Dauntless Stories’ Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood is a uniquely absurd romantic horror that pushes the boundary of comic book storytelling.
Up-and-coming indie comics publisher Dauntless Stories has made it their mission to tell bold stories in short graphic novel format, conveying unique tales through the eyes of talented creative teams. The publishing house has released two graphic novels, Deadly Living and Starless Daydream, with two more yet to be published. Eat My flesh, Drink My Blood is one of the latter, scheduled to come out early next year as part of Dauntless Stories’ Greenlight initiative. Created by writer Frankee White, artist Adam Markiewicz and colorist A.H.G., the book is a 52-page, magazine-sized graphic novel that describes itself as an absurd romantic horror.
Eat My flesh, Drink My Blood opens with newly engaged couple John and Lisa arriving at a chapel one summer evening. Lisa is as nervous and excited to meet John’s parents for the first time, while John is just as uninterested and apathetic about the whole affair. As the church doors fling open, they are greeted by two solemn figures, and Lisa’s wish is fulfilled. The story then cuts back to two weeks prior, when John had received a letter from his mother stating that his father is dying and that she wants to see the couple for mass at their parish. Lisa, curious about her fiancé’s past, encourages him to mend fences with his estranged father. John agrees on one condition: Lisa must join him.
This isn’t White’s first foray into comic books, having established himself as a creative talent with titles such as 20 Fists, Starless Daydream and Broken Bear. While Starless Daydream was published by Dauntless Stories, the critically acclaimed graphic novel Broken Bear was created by the same creative team as Eat My flesh, Drink My Blood, so the creepy and sinister aesthetic of Broken Bear gets carried over. White puts the narrative focus on Lisa, the newcomer to the Johnson family, and places the reader in her shoes to better reflect her emotional state. The use of religious motifs and imagery only reaffirms the eerie feeling that emanates from the very first page of the book.
Markiewicz’s art lures the readers in with its serene ambiance, only to turn heel on the most unassuming of moments. While his simple and clean lines give depth and details to the panels, his bold inking creates a gritty and ominous aura. A.H.G’s colors truly bring life to Markiewicz’s art. From the bold red sky of a setting sun to the pensive looks on the characters’ faces, much of the atmosphere is built on the tones presented in the panels. A.H.G’s use of rough strokes and intermixed bright and muted colors in the backgrounds as a means of shading, in itself, creates a haunting effect.
Dauntless Stories continues to demonstrate that they are ready to venture where other comics do not. By giving their artists creative freedom, Dauntless allows comic book storytelling to reach new heights. Continuing that ideology, White, Markiewicz, and A.H.G. channel that same energy as they create a uniquely absurd romantic horror that dares to ask the age-old question: “How far will you go to be with the one you love?” For indie comic book enthusiasts with a penchant for horror, Eat My flesh, Drink My Blood is a perfect read to satiate their need for suspense and thrill.
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