Transmedia pioneers Radco Comics and writer Ana Lily Amirpour bring us the second issue of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, the tale of a lonely vampire and her enduring hunger.
Is it good?
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night #2 (RADCO)
The second issue of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is an introspective chapter entitled “Who Am I?” Writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour provides a piercing glimpse into the narrator’s backstory and an uninhibited exploration of what it truly means to be a vampire.
We begin in the desert, where a single sand-blown skull sets the tone: “This is where life has given up the furious struggle,” the narrator says. “I came to the desert looking for death. To finally greet the sun. And every morning when [the sun] comes… I burrow deep inside the earth and hide. Like a coward, I hide.” The image of the narrator emerging from her dwelling hole, crouched in the desert sand, emaciate and bedraggled-looking is visually arresting; nightmare fuel at its finest and a welcome twist from the first issue.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night #1 portrayed the narrator as frightening and lethal, but ultimately human in both appearance and motives: she’s a pretty young girl wearing lipstick; she skateboards; she coddles a stray cat; she preys on a bully that assaults a man for dressing like a woman. She seems almost content with her actions, like a noble vigilante; a more attractive Morbius the Living Vampire or something from that Stephanie Meyer book with all the sparkly vampires. In issue #2 she is every bit a preternatural creature full of self-loathing; she not only looks inhuman but considers herself inhuman as well.
This point is reiterated in a striking flashback. The narrator holds a skull in her hands which reminds her of one of the countless lives she has taken. This sequence doesn’t take place in the Iranian ghost-town of Bad City, but rather, what looks to be Paris, France (judging from the Eiffel Tower in the background). Here, the narrator watches two lovers’ bodies tangled in the throes of passion while she looms over them, clad entirely in black like a personification of death. The next few pages show the brutal results of her feeding, the bodies gutted and burst. This isn’t the “honor among thieves” type of feeding from the first issue; as far as we know, the two lovers did nothing wrong. But the narrator hungers. And when she hungers, she must feed, no matter who the victims might be. This is her blessing and terrible curse. After a “century spent watching the human body… contemplating its purpose,” the narrator has come to one conclusion for our usefulness:
We hit the spot.
Michael DeWeese’s striking black and white art continues to serve as the perfect complement to Amirpour’s lean, penetrating prose. AiPT reviewer David Brooke said in his review of the first issue that, “[DeWeese’s art] casts a mysterious shadow over everything,” and that trend continues in all its bewitching splendor here. Even the white sand of the desert in the beginning eventually gives way to complete darkness in the crypt-like pit that the narrator calls home. The omission of color augments the story’s sense of mystery and foreboding; we still don’t know much about the narrator but we know that she can only operate in the darkness and thanks to DeWeese, we’re right there with her, immersed in the shadows.
Is It Good?
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night #2 is even better than the first. DeWeese’s art continues to captivate and Amirpour raises provocative questions that should have crossed every serious vampire fanatic’s mind at one point or another: How would the enduring hunger take a toll on one’s mind? How would one truly view humans? This is a vampire tale that doesn’t gloss over the anguish and misery and is made all the more absorbing because of it. Highly recommended.