By Adam Cadwell
Blood Blokes is Adam Cadwell’s vampiric social comedy of manners, all dressed up in gothic student chic, where the blood and gore are completely secondary to the cutting quips and the deadpan gags.
Blood Blokes Issue 1 introduced us to soon to be undead Vince, one of life’s perpetual losers, with his crappy job, horrible boss, a girlfriend who’s leaving him on a really miserable New Years Eve.
Still, it could always get worse, he could walk out the club followed by a bat, and then he could wake up later just like this:
That’s the final page of Blood Blokes #1. Yeah, not your usual vampire story pretty much covers it.
What’s become of Vince, and just why he ended up as a vampiric Dorothy Gale complete with fangs and gingham dress, isn’t revealed until most of the way through this issue. Instead, in a neat narrative shift, we’re no longer following Vince’s life, but we’re shifted back at the start of New Year’s Eve and looking at everything through the (slightly bloodshot) eyes of the vampires he wakes up amongst in that pic above.
The comic opens with the familiar sight of a student house, empty bottles and clothes strewn across the floor, but there’s an undead theme coming through…. there’s real blood in the blood orange carton, the taped up curtains, the posters.
But undead or not, certain things are constant; Mike’s had the last of the breakfast blood, so while he and Arianna curl up on the sofa it’s deadpan Douglas’ turn to reluctantly nip down the shops for some more:
If issue 1 set it all up with huge promise, this delivers that promise in fine style. The banter between the vamps is wonderfully light and natural, the pacing is spot on, everything flows so neatly, as the vamps’ story and Vince’s life from issue 1 come together on a New Years Eve night out. Whilst outside missing the fags (undead lungs – clever touch), Mike sees Vince and that bat, and later on all three see the ambulance and a freshly dead Vince.
Cut to the day after and Mike is perplexed about the bat, luckily he knows someone down in the morgue, someone who knows a little more about the bat than he may be letting on….
It’s the little touches. The writing on the board, the covered up mirror, the blood ice lolly. Perfect stuff. And Cadwell even has time, amongst the gags and the interplay, to sow the seeds of a slightly darker tale, all connected to that bat. It’s certainly got our vampiric mortuary attendant worried.
But enough of that, back to the comedy, back to the characters, back to Mike and Douglas, staging a rescue, grabbing Vince’s body from a local crem. Except they have one more problem to overcome…. just how do they get the (un)dead weight of Vince back to the flat? Simple:
It really is all in the timing. And in the looks.
And Cadwell’s Blood Blokes gets both right every time. Great stuff.
Blood Blokes is available from the Great Beast webstore.