Written & Illustrated by Larime Taylor
Published by Image Comics
We all have a dark side. Whether it be enjoying an ultra-violent video game or writing dark poetry, it’s there in everyone. For some people though, that darkness it exponentially worse and causes them to do horrible things. Sometimes they hurt animals, people, or even themselves. A Voice in the Dark is such a tale about Zoey; a Dexter-esque social outcast that keeps to herself and recently killed for the very first time. While there are obviously dark, twisted thoughts flying in and out of her head, Zoey is also forced to deal with her first week in college and a series of heinous hallucinations that make it even harder for her to fight her newly found addiction. In an effort to give her ‘dark side’ a place to roam free and ‘play’, she pitches the idea for her own radio show: Voices in the Dark. It’s a totally anonymous call-in show where people confess their deepest, darkest secrets on air. Will Zoey be able to fight her sick urges or will the shadows win in the end? I can honestly say I’ve rarely come across a book that makes me so impatient to get the answer!
Larime Taylor has crafted a story that’s similar to Dexter, but has its own unique, fresh feel to it. It’s a story about a psychopath (maybe even a schizophrenic) young lady who has to find her place in the world while trying to deal with a dark urge not unlike a drug addiction. As with any addict, Zoey has some really demented hallucinations that get worse as the story progresses and I love the psychological edge that Taylor portrays throughout the issue. For it being the first book in the series, I loved the amount of character development and progression used here too. Larime uses a series of flashbacks to the events of the crime to show us how the various characters dealt with the murder.
Normally I don’t go for a black and white book, but in this case it totally works for the tone of the story. People with severe psychological disorders sometimes see society as a world of black and whites. In a book told from the perspective of Zoey, someone with severe issues, I don’t think it could work more perfectly! My hat goes off for any creator who writes and does the art for their own book, but I don’t think words can express the tremendous amount of respect I have for Larime Taylor after just one issue of this book. You see, he was born with a defect called Arthrogryposis, and it stunted the development of his limbs in the womb. Taylor writes, draws, tones, and letters the ENTIRE book himself using just his mouth and a Wacom Cintiq tablet. This wasn’t revealed to me until the end of the book in a section Larime calls Gray Matter. My verdict on the book was already set in stone; I absolutely love it, but I do feel that he needs to be given props where they’re due; that is certainly the case in this instance!
The first issue of this story is a whopping 36 pages. Future books will be between 20-22 pages and whatever Larime charges will be worth every cent. I’m a big fan of the psychological aspects of human nature and this issue explores the darker side of that beautifully. As much as I loved this issue I can tell Taylor was using it to set up bigger, better things within this universe. That makes me REALLY excited to see what he has in store for Zoey, Seven, and those of us eagerly awaiting the next issue. A Voice in the Dark is sure to be a rollercoaster of suspense, mystery, and psychological ups and downs. If this sounds like your cup of tea, Larime’s website with all of the updates about the book can be found at www.larimetaylor.com. Reading this book along with Larime’s uplifting story may be my favorite moment since I started with FtN. Most creator-owned stories are a labor of love and A Voice in the Dark ups the ante of that mantra. This book not only deserves your attention but absolutely demands it. It is my absolute pleasure to give A Voice in the Dark…
5 out of 5 nerds