When I first saw this series on the Upcoming Comics list I took it at face with the blood covered radio station and assumed it was a desperate radio personality during the zombie apocalypse. Not the first time such a character existed, right? Boy, was I wrong. A Voice in the Dark ended up hitting really close to home for me, so bare with my bias here. To start it off simply, I really like the art style. The illustration has just enough realism to capture readers in its “slice of life” tone. With the addition that the entire work is in greyscale, we can focus more on not only the text, but also the dynamics of lines. By dynamics of lines I mean several things. For one, the bold outlines of each character’s form is one of the things that keep the drawings from turning into flat sheets of greys. In fact, it gives the bodies and environment more depth with a wonderful sense of distance without actually drawing too much. Even solid colored walls as backgrounds have an estimated distance from characters in panels. Second, the lines that flesh out the features on everyone’s figures and faces are simple, yet not uniform. Every character has very different features and approximate skin tone can be easily discerned despite the lack of actual colors. Larime Taylor was able to pull off presenting various races and styles without falling into any stereotypes typically presented by other illustrators.
Now, the story itself is wonderful because our main character is so relatable. Well, I suppose for some it’s hard to relate to a straight-lace honor roll student, but all in all Zoey’s primary goal in life is to lead a healthy, fulfilling, “normal” one. While everyone’s definition of “normal” is different, we can usually agree that it doesn’t involve constantly having violent fantasies that your fingers itch to act out. This story’s big bad is Zoey herself, which she is working on containing by unleashing it in a productive manner- a radio program called A Voice in the Dark. It all clicks now. The everyday struggle of those who are just mentally programmed differently- including those with depression- makes a genuine tale of barely surviving day to day. Oh, and I suppose the mysterious murders when Zoey moves into Blair Women’s College which happens to be investigated by her uncle helps, too.
I don’t think I would recommend this series to those amidst emotional and mental instabilities. It was somewhat therapeutic to find a story that I feel like I’ve already experienced (minus the radio show), but had I read this at the wrong time- let’s say about 3 days ago? That could have been catastrophic.
Excuse me as I clutch this issue to my bosom indefinitely whilst reminiscing about all the mistakes, hospitalization, shrinks, and changes between puberty and now. Oh, and full score on this issue.
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