STARBLOOD: The Graphic Novel
Graphic novels, when they work well, are a marvelous way to tell a story.
Within the pages of the graphic novel, the character must be larger-than-life, enough so that he or she can be instantly recognizable and identifiable so as to guide the reader through the story. Combine this with a talented artist, (kudos to Starblood artist Anna Prashkovich – she absolutely nails it!) who plays an equally crucial role adding dimension and structure to the character quite literally with lines and shadow, and you have the makings of a story befitting of this format.
Enter Starblood, a dark fantasy story from author Carmilla Voiez. Right off the bat I have to tell you that this genre, while featuring horror elements, is not particularly my cup of potion, as it were. That being said, I am glad the author introduced me to her story in the graphic novel format, as I likely would not have enjoyed this book as a traditional novel. Why? Mainly because of the reasons stated above. It’s just not my genre, folks.
Yet Starblood, I’m happy to say, works well as a graphic novel. The story lends itself nicely to a visual format, and the artwork is first-rate! And there are LOADS of horror elements that are skillfully illustrated, reminding me of the old EC comics that inspired publications such as the notable (and splattery!) indie anthology Gore Shriek.
In Starblood, Lilith, the “mother of demons,” is summoned by Satori, a Chaos Magician in an effort to reunite with his long lost love, Star. Lilith’s priorities differ from Satori’s, however, and upon arrival into Satori’s realm, Lilith is hell-bent on destroying the lad’s life – as well as the lives of pretty much everyone he knows! And Lilith is one mother of a demon – using her intentionally phallic blade to dispatch male enemies with a ferocity that makes Xena: Warrior Princess look like Dora the Explorer. Starblood reads like a feminist activist’s rage-driven manifesto. Some readers might find this approach too heavy-handed, but wasn’t a problem for me.
There were elements of the overall story and plot that confounded me, requiring some investigation and re-reading in order to resolve, not to mention the characters having more than one name. The latter is not uncommon in the fantasy genre, but the former is a problem for me, as any time spent outside of a story makes it harder to then re-engage with the plot.
Did I mention sex? There’s tons of sex to accompany the manhood-destroying violence, which is why Starblood is not for readers under eighteen. This combination of sex and violence reminded me of the animated Heavy Metal movie from back in the 80’s, and if you were into that, you’ll enjoy this foray into dark, gothic fantasy. It’s cool to see an indie graphic novel that looks this good, as they are very difficult to produce in a quality fashion.
Starblood: The Graphic Novel releases this month (September 30th, 2016). Look for it on Amazon. Click the image below to find out more about the trilogy.