Vampires. Every few years they resurface in the literary world. Though to be fair, they really haven’t gone away this time. There’s something about them that really piques the interest of large percentage of readers, myself included. Mine stems from reading early Anne Rice books, but I find most of what’s produced these days to be lacking in originality and versatility. Mind you, I did say most. Blood & Dust: The Life & Undeath Of Judd Glenny #1 is certainly an exception to the rule. Please allow me to elaborate further.
The storyline is elusive and covert, allowing only pieces of the truth to fall into the hands of the unsuspecting reader. The comic has a certain turn of the century gothic feel that is deliberately interrupted by a more modern and contemporary individual. We bear witness to a father thanking the immortal Judd Glenny for saving his son. But as their conversation starts to get more interesting, tragedy strikes. And while everyone seems alarmed, it is the nonchalant way that Glenny strolls off to save the day that is the most telling. What we see is an individual with the utmost confidence in their ability to handle a situation. What exactly that situation is remains unknown at the end of this first issue.
The official teaser is this:
“Judd Glenny is the first American vampire, once he terrorized the West as its most fearsome predator, but for more than 40 years now he’s spent his days in peace, reduced to little more than babysitter for his own vampire offspring. But when the evil that lives in the swamp surrounding the small backwater town he calls home gets ahold of one of Judd’s great grandkids, everything changes.
Blood & Dust mixes gothic horror with lush monstrous imagery that is sure to appeal to fans of vampires, swamp creatures and the macabre!”
Writers William R. Martin and Adam J. Orndorf have scripted an entertaining, if not enlightening, comic here. It’s full of scenes where the reader almost gets some information that we know we’ll need later on while always keeping that knowledge just out of reach. Adding to this is the amazingly dark art of Roy Allan Martinez. His use of shadows and earth tones gives this comic a deeper dimension than most. He strategically places shadows to draw they eye around the panels, eliminating the guesswork that we often find ourselves doing with lesser artistry.
Vampire lover or not, this comic will appeal to adult readers who favor the mysterious and the macabre. I have no idea where this comic will lead us and that’s possibly the best part about it. It’s refreshing to love something but be puzzled at the same time. There’s a plan for this story, I feel it in my bones, but I’m blissfully curious as to what it might be and this why I find it to be an exceptional read! If the dark and scary is appealing to you, this was created for just such a reader. If you are mildly curious and/or have an interest in stories of the undead, Blood & Dust is ready to show you the way. This possibly my favorite comic ever produced by Action Lab, by the way. Enjoy!