Written by Larime Taylor
Art by Larime Taylor
Self-published by Larime Taylor
Re-release Date: November 20, 2013 (from Image Comics)

VoiceInTheDarkHave you ever fantasized about what it would be like to get away with murder? I’m sure everyone has at some point, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you did. What then? That is the question raised by the independent comic A Voice in the Dark, written and illustrated by Larime Taylor.

Violence is an unfortunate reality in life. We try to avoid it at all cost (well, unless we happen to be the perpetrator), but the entertainment industry — publishing, television, film, video games, etc. — almost always seem to consider it a vital (if not essential) part of storytelling. Personally, I avoid gore and slasher type media whenever possible. I abhor violence and death for the sake of itself. To enjoy any media that has a heavy degree of violence or loss of life, there has to be significant meaning behind it for me to consider it to hold artistic merit. Comics such as The Walking Dead and its television adaptation come to mind — stories which strive to find meaning in life despite people being slaughtered in the most horrific way imaginable.

A Voice in the Dark is such a story. It may not be as gory as The Walking Dead — in fact, it reads like an extremely reserved variation of NBC’s Hannibal — but it is equally complex psychologically. Taylor invites us to peer into the mind of a killer, the anti-hero Zoey Aarons, a young woman who for all intents and purposes leads a deceptively normal life. She is not a model sociopath and, unlike Showtime’s Dexter, we can’t rationalize our sympathy towards her based on the idea her victim — although far from innocent — actually deserved to die. Ordinarily, I’d be hesitant to endorse such a storyline, considering the protagonist is a biracial teenage criminal, but this comic is anything but a troupe of stereotypes. It is a minority driven narrative, with a multitude of perspectives across race, class, gender and sexuality, including both abused and well-adjusted lesbian, gay and bisexual characters. Moreover, by injecting critical theory into its story, Taylor challenges us to take as hard of a look at ourselves as we play judge and jury debating what fate Zoey deserves.

Verdict: 10/10



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