Monday, 4 February 2008

I never knew blood was an aphrodesiac: Last Blood



Last Blood cojoins together vampires, smooth action scenes and zombies. The resulting webcomic is a filmic approach to the genre and it is a crafted and delicate approach to violence. The use of silence in the initial strips shows a rare discipline and this is a strip that is willing to track narrative over a long term basis. The artwork is a grainy ode to gore, its slow motion capture is willing and able to use complex stylised set pieces of violence. In effect violence becomes a means to an end, to create a visual poetics of blood floating in air, lovingly rendered to the last drop of plasma. This isn't mindless violence, it floats off the page as if it were hoping to infect the reader, it certainly deserves to.

This is a different side to Owen Gieni's art I'd not expected after reading Sore Thumbs, the anime influences have been stripped away and instead here there's a love affair with the minitunae of rotting flesh, for the zombie freak this attention to detail is unexpected and is certainly not the smooth goofy facial texture that ST's goofiness required. The texture of the work is what impresses me, the way in which rain is I would say the closest analogy would be Ben Templesmith's haziness (Fell / 28 days of night).

So here's the typical post apocalyptic gig, mindless rotting zombie hordes, the remaining population is stressed and tense and the sudden inclusion of two vampires does not help a fractured scared group of survivors trying to make sense of life after most of humanity has been wiped out.

Admittedly, it can sometimes feel corny like an a bad action film but regardless this is one of the most enjoyable webcomics I've read this year. This is an action strip undercut by snippets of emotion to good effect. Additionally, while their inclusion in the strip might look like a gimmick the skanky vibe of the vampire protagonists adds a bit of zest to the mix and the back story of where the zombies originated from is an interesting gambit to begin with. There is also darkness here, slick bloodlust and ulterior motives, for all the supernatural elements there is far more realism present here than in Dead Winter, and the action scenes are surreal and the main selling point of the strip.

3 comments:

Jason said...

another successful zombie comic? Must be a new webcomic trend XD.

Just out of curiosity...if you had to choose one, would you prefer Last Blood or Dead Winter? Art-wise, it seems Last Blood is more mature, but the less precise artwork of Dead Winter also has a certain charm to it.

Jason said...

Ah, I just remembered the another zombie comic I was looking a few days ago (which led me to say that zombies are a new trend in my last comment)
http://www.thezombiehunters.com

Scott said...

That is so hard, Dead Winter has more goofiness to it, in a strange way i think it has more of a long term future. Last Blood is the webcomic equivalent of an action film (they're already jonesing for film rights) It feels a lot quicker and cornier, the artwork doesn't touch the surreal storyline of DW (With its dark undercurrents)
Dead Winter I would say, by a very tight margin.


As for the Zombie Hunters, that's a good call, I am really impressed by the use of shadowing here and the really thin lines put shivers up my spine, I will have to review this surely.