Guest Writer: Katherine Cooper Butland
Writer: Miles Gunter
Art: Kelsey Shannon
–This article was made possible by the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
Dark Fang is a new comic published through Image. It’s written by Miles Gunter, with art by Kelsey Shannon. It follows the story of Valla: a ruthless, cold, and notably well-spoken vampire. One of her few downfalls is the eloquence and haughtiness of her tone—but that only makes her that much more fun to read.
Valla has spent a long time underwater. As a vampire, she doesn’t face the human restriction of breathing air, so she makes the deep sea her home. She befriends a shark because they are similar—always feeding. As a result of her undeath, she has the innate, supernatural ability to charm others and use her blood to animate the dead, or even enchant a jellyfish to become a dress.
When she is forced up to the world above, she finds that the world has dramatically changed, and society is different. Valla must adapt to survive in this world, and quickly. She gains inspiration from a cam girl she sees on a victim’s phone, and she quickly executes a plan to gain money and social status in the human world. As an old vampire, she struggles with using technology to make her means, and hires a new friend to help. She gets a bit frustrated with him, which comes through in a funny, if dark, way.
The art in this comic is truly spectacular, blending a classic comic style with modern. The art itself is used in unique ways to tell the story—a particularly notable scene is one in which Valla is lying on the ceiling, which blends flawlessly into a blown up facial profile. Just below, boats are on the water, effortlessly mirroring this profile. Details like this bring this comic to life, and vividly.
I devoured this comic. It was an easy read, because it was so interesting and gripping. It was dark, but also funny, and a fresh take on the often-used vampire trope. As Valla says of the human world, “it is intoxicating”. Dark Fang is available wherever Image comics are sold, and proves to be a fun exploration into the world of a supernatural being stuck in the past, coming to grips with the changing ways of society. What will Valla do next to continue her journey on the surface world?