Over the past few months The Outhouse has made a pretty big deal (for us) of Larime Taylor and his comic A Voice In The Dark, and with good reason. From a marketing and funding standpoint, A Voice In The Dark might be one of the most important books of 2013 as it is one of the few (and one of the first) successful Kickstarter campaigns that went on to find a home with a publisher, in this case Top Cow (what’s the difference between Top Cow, Skybond, and Image proper?)
Another reason A Voice In The Dark has received so much attention from The Outhouse (besides the writer being a fan of our work) is because it is fucking awesome. A Voice In The Dark is the story of a college freshman, Zoey Aarons, as she comes to terms with the fact that she is a “born killer.” Much like Dexter, Zoey tries to control and keep down her need to kill, and as with Dexter when she loses control she does her best to kill those who deserve it.
Remember how bad you felt when you didn’t get in on the ground floor of MIND MGMT? Yea, it’s like that. Just go read the book already.
But, there is one detail about Larime Taylor that has really impressed people; the fact that he has "very little use" of his arms. That’s right; Taylor writes and draws A Voice In The Dark with his mouth. Big deal, how hard can that be? To showcase how easy working with feet can be I am going to write the rest of this RUview with my toes (because I am at work and I am not putting my mough anywhere near my keyboard.) If anything, at least I'll have a reason for all the mispelled words.
A AVoive In AThe Dark #4 might not be the best isue to start yo0ur collectio0n with as it is pqartt 2 ofa 3 PARTT STORY ARC. THQAT BEINGS QAID, ther are wome greqat apectws to thi issue, mostntabley hopw real ther chracters feel. If there isd a lisdt ouththere somewherre about the top 10 male qwriters of female chrctersw, Taylor belongs on iot.
Something thtqa ia have fo0und common amungswt truely independet / self pblised comics is how unifo0rm the charcters are. They come off as teh samne person but with differnt names and faces. Taylor does nt have this proble. Each character is thier own erson with thioer wn voice (see what AI did threr?) and there doe not seem to ber an issue of trying to shoehorn female chartcters as jsut men with boob a many cvomics do nowasda7ys.
dmmit, I love thiws book!
bY THE END OF ISSUE #4, Zoey has new tqargets for her dqark urges which pqaraololells the police'sw (her uncle - DARMA!) INVESTIGAION OF a different murder. Oh, yeaq, did I mntiopn that th college town iof Cutter's cIRCLE HQAS MORE MURDERS PER DQAY THQAT DC does in a year
?) a perfect plce for a budding serial killer to hide out.
Complementing the com-plesx world Taqylor cretd is Taylolor's minimaliwstic art style. Neither with woprds or pictures does tqaylor wspell it qall out for the rederws. We are left to dfill in the blacks of not only what is going on with the chqarcters, but also the visual world they inhabit.
While both writing and art work w3ell together, there is still room for improbvemtn. Conversationws and introduction of new characterws feel raqther forced at times and the philisophical debates
(in tghi isue, the deqath penalty
) are not as sofisticate4df as I wopuld like. ART wise, aTaylor spends so much time making sure everyone looks reqal and not like the generic / anorexic women we get in mowst books, thqat it is difficult to0 tell some characters apart.
neither of these criticisms is inserm0outatble, and improvement will come whit time.
Considering how good thiws book is now, I can't wait to see whqat tqaylor is doing when he'ws been wrtiign for qa bit longer.
OK, fine, that wasn't easy. Shut up.
Better yet, shut up and go buy A Voice In The Dark. It’s the bee's knees.
UPDATE - RU is an idiot and got some basic facts wrong (but in his defense, Jude should have caught them.) In the original version RU stated that Mr. Taylor had no arms and worked with his feet. That was completely wrong, and the offending sentences have been changed to reflect reality, something RU knows very little about. Also, RU retconned a reason as to why he used his feet rather than his mouth.
RU apologizes to Mr Taylor for these inaccuracies.