Review – Ex Sanguine #3 – A Romance between a Vampire and a Serial Killer

Script by: Joshua Scott Emmons and Tim Seeley
Art by: Tim Seeley
Colors by: Carlos Badilla
Letters by: CRANK!
Cover by: Tim Seeley with Dave Stewart
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Ashley and Saul have a unique relationship, one is a supernatural immortal that thrives on blood of the corrupt of the city and Ashley is a crazed murderer with mother and father issues. While that sounds like a strange pop culture comedy duo, it very much isn’t. Ashley since her introduction has been a thorn to Saul going so far as to frame him for actions he didn’t make in an attempt to validate herself and her legacy pursuit.

Issue 3 of Ex Sanguine continues the struggle and brings in some new blood to the picture, Saul going about his own life now while Ashley continues her streak of mayhem. The difference is that other dark figures have stepped in given the news and have taken interest in what they see as a defenseless city. It’s up to Saul to keep the borders protected and his girl of mayhem in check before something bad happens. Given the streak of the story so far, that sounds like an easy task but it really isn’t as Ashley prefers to only answer to herself.

The city is already in panic as news of her kills spread like wildfire in the paper, the last thing this situation needs is a social nuke drawing in more attention and undesirables to the town. The issue is very much about Ashley’s back story which helps shed some light on what happened to make her this messed up. Fans of the series should give it a read and new readers might want to take a look at the Dark Horse preview pages for a taste of Ex Sanguine.

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Print)


Review – Ex Sanguine: The Hollow Man #1

Script by: Joshua Scott Emmons and Tim Seeley
Art by: Tim Seeley
Colors by: Carlos Badilla
Letters by: Joshua Scott Emmons
Cover by: Tim Seeley with Dave Stewart
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Saul Adams is a man who has a long history on this world, what kind of history is a bit of a mystery but it’s there and boiling to the surface in a turn of events to a world which he thought he had pinned for constants and reliability. Unfortunately a new darkness is making his town their new home and his familiars their prey as well. We only get a glimpse at this breach but it’s beyond anything this city and the feds have seen or known and it’s only the beginning.

Seeley and Emmons dive into crime drama, cults and the supernatural and deliver it in a single serving that drives up questions and shock as the story unravels. Saul is a man lost in his own world, not sure what year it is or even who he is but that after eternities have come and gone that he’s still here and getting by. This story may start off with an obvious twist, but it takes all the expectations and hurls them into the garbage bin in an instant. Saul is about to get some company in his life and it’s going to get ugly for everyone in this story, you don’t rock the boat of an immortal with arrogance and attitude and just get away with it.

Tim Seeley delivers excellent style and emotion to the pages of Ex Sanguine, the expressions, gestures and lapses are superb, it’s always rewarding to see artists that take the time to think out facial actions and even eye gestures before just laying it out there. When the mental flashes hit, the examinations and even Saul’s frustrations strike, they’re all executed with that extra bit of thought. My only dispute is that Seeley almost highlights our unexpected other supernatural force because the shift in style that happens. You can’t just deliver a massive change in color and detail and expect it to slide under the radar.

Other than that small issue, Ex Sanguine is something I’d love to see more of and I can’t wait until issue 2 arrives. It’s well restricted and doesn’t move to jump the shark with transformations and spells and random campy features, it’s cold and real and it captures your attention even though the story itself begins so vaguely. Issue 1 delivers many carefully selected mechanics and uses them at just the right time. Personally it’s a bit sad to see Saul suffering after such a long time as an immortal but it’s understandable that his brain would be overflowing with history.

Saul’s next battle kicks off in issue 2 and he’ll be attacking 2 fronts at once, be sure to read up on this story before just jumping ahead and hoping for the best, you’ll only rob yourself of a great story by doing so.

Release Date: October 17, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order


Tim Seeley is back with Ex Sanguine this fall on Dark Horse

Tim Seeley is in a bit of everything, from our recent experience with The Occultist it’s a good thing though, moving from Hack/Slash to The Occultist and The Guild to something new, a new horror and thriller story called Ex Sanguine. When talking with Dark Horse he had this to say about it.

“Ex Sanguine is my take on the vampire-romance genre, but instead of being full of longing and anguished staring, it’s full of brutal flirtations between two savage predators, one a vampire, one a serial killer,” said Tim Seeley.

We don’t know everything though, Seeley was only willing to reveal the name of Saul Adams as the vampire in the story, he’s a bit lost from this current world, lost in the history he’s tumbled through at day’s end, well until the feds motivate him for some more pressing issues. The serial killer Seeley created is a natural-born killer that hunts and thrives on the pursuit of victims in an endless battle, as one might imagine it might be easy to confuse a vampire with someone who also hunts his victims in a blood lust state.

Saul finds himself right in the middle of “The Sanguine Killings” he ignores the accusations flowing his way until he picks up on a trademark of this killer, a form of art or craft in the process of this bloodshed, as a result of it, those hours and weeks of remembering are put aside, a new shift in his life is here that intrigues him.

While this sounds great and tempting, it’s also something we’ll see at the end of this year, Ex Sanguine #1 is currently slated to arrive on November 28, 2012. One can only hope we get some teasers to make that wait a little easier to take.

Review – The Occultist: #1 of 3

Story: Mike Richardson & Tim Seeley
Script: Tim Seeley
Art: Victor Drujiniu
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Steve Morris (header)
Alternate Cover: Jenny Frison (pictured right)
Published: Dark Horse

The Occultist begins by introducing us to a man who appears to be a little paranoid.  We quickly find out that his paranoia is justified, the women he invited over turns out to be a demon, monstery type creature who eats and kills him.  Before this happens however, we learn that he is, or was, the Occultist.  Due to his demise a new Occultist must step into the now open position.  That someone is Robert Bailey.  Robert is your everyday typical college student, and this is the typical story.  Boy lives life, otherworldly forces are at work and pick boy, boy has no idea what is happening to him and everyone who does know only tells him information in bits and pieces.  He worked at a bookstore for a man named Mr.Elder.  We learn that Mr. Elder appeared to be a kind of mentor to Robert, but Mr. Elder has been killed.  He has since appeared to Robert posthumously and tried to guide him but did so in a cryptic, unhelpful kind of way.  We find that Robert is being guided by the Sword, which is a mystical book that Robert doesn’t really understand.  As the police investigate Mr. Elder’s death they make their way to Robert, who when the questioning becomes tough, uses the Sword’s mojo on the detective, this works successfully for him, but not so much for the poor detective who’s brain appears to have short circuited a little bit.  Unfortunately for Robert, everyone else also seems to understand how critical the Sword is.  He ends up with bounty hunters after the Sword and in the process of their search they will stop at nothing to get it, even kill him if necessary.  The bounty hunters are after the book, Robert’s after the truth and the cops are after Robert.

This comic is good, as is the art and colors.  This issue does a good job of giving some context and backstory for forthcoming issues.  The dialog is good, it made me laugh a few times, which truthfully I didn’t expect.  Overall The Occultist was entertaining,  it has an interesting premise and was enjoyable to read.

Release Date: November 9th, 2011