Creator: Hiroshi Koizumi
Writer: Eliot Rahal
Illustrator: Dike Ruan
Publisher: Vault Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Bleed Them Dry is the ultimate genre mash-up of vampires and ninja action, set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. It's a stylized revenge thriller that combines popular genre conventions in fresh and exciting ways.
Think True Blood, directed by John Woo, in the world of Blade Runner, and you come close to this unapologetically bombastic tale of blood-sucking, martial arts action.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
In the year 3333, humans and vampires live side by side in relative peace. But tensions begin to rise when a streak of vampire slayings rock the city-state of Asylum. With public pressure beginning to mount, and seemingly no useful leads, Detective Halloway is shocked to find out that her partner, Atticus Black, has solved the case overnight.
Unable to let the case rest, Halloway keeps digging, but what she finds will irrevocably alter her understanding of her partner, her city, and her own life. The answers to all her questions may lie in the hands of the mysterious vampire slayer, Toyo Yammamoto. But this blood-thirsty hunter could also get her killed.
On the run from the law she once fought to protect, Halloway must clear her name and confront the man whose actions bestowed upon her a thirst for blood…
Rahal has managed to blend well-trodden genres into a tale that feels greater, and more original, than the sum of its parts.
The art is fantastic! Ruan’s modern art style is reminiscent of Rafael Albuquerque’s work on American Vampire, with a slight manga twist, that perfectly captures monstrous vampires and kinetic, bloody action.
Muerto’s color palette takes full advantage of the cyberpunk setting, creating vibrant, neon-soaked urban environments, that give the comic an epic, cinematic style.
The lettering by Andworld is well done, if a bit standard. It’s clear and comprehensive, though it also doesn’t try anything new.
Characters are engaging and exciting, which helps keep the audience invested in the flashy action. Atticus Black is a stand-out as the story’s cyborg-vampire antagonist.
Ruan also excels at designing the cyberpunk metropolis of Asylum, and demonstrates impressive versatility in both figure work, vehicle design, and architecture. Bleed Them Dry is the work of an artist firing on all cylinders.
The action is frenzied and kinetic, and will keep you turning the page for more, delivering on the cover's promise of Ninja-Vampire action.
Rahal's worldbuilding creates a deep, dark, and original world, but with enough left unexplored to keep us coming back for a potential sequel.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Time jumps significantly hurt the overall pacing, and force unnecessary exposition. This leads to the narrative sporadically slowing to a crawl in the middle of the series, without clear progression towards the protagonist's end goal.
S.T.A.K.E. are set up to be exciting secondary antagonists, but are dealt with far too easily. This was disappointing, given the narrative investment in them, and their inclusion feels like filler.
Content warnings: This book is incredibly violent, with extreme bloody violence and dismemberment throughout. Definitely for mature readers.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Bleed Them Dry is a bombastic, hyper-violent action epic that delivers precisely on its promise of Ninja-Vampire action in a satisfying way. Frenetic fight choreography and beautiful neon-soaked art will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its six-issue run.
Rahal and Ruan team up to create a fresh, exhilarating story, and imbue it with the kind of energy you only get from two artists at the top of their game! Hopefully, they still find time to expand the Bleed-Them-Dry-Verse in the future!
Bleed Them Dry is the perfect comic series for fans of True Blood, Blade Runner, and The Raid to sink their teeth into.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
The Vain (2020) by Eliot Rahal and Emily Pearson.
Knock 'em Dead (2020) by Eliot Rahal and Mattia Monaco.
American Vampire (2010) by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque (and Stephen King).
If you like the art:
Shang-Chi (2020) by Gene Luan Yang, Dike Ruan & Philip Tan.
Prodigy (2019) by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque.
Blade Runner 2029 (2020) by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Andres Guinaldo.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Eliot Rahal – Writer
An American comic writer currently working on Knock ‘em Dead and The Vain.
Multitalented: Used to be a stand up comedian!
Dike Ruan – Artist
A Chinese-born comic book artist currently living in Italy.
Has worked for Marvel, DC, and Vault Comics. Recent work includes Shang-Chi (2020), and cover work for Sensational Wonder Woman (2021).
Miquel Muerto – Colorist
Comic book illustrator and colourist living in Barcelona.
Known for work on Something is Killing the Children, Low Road West, and Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
ANDWORLD – Letterer
A digital design studio, specializing in Lettering, Logo and Book Design.
Previously worked with the Marvel, DC, BOOM Studios, IDW, and many more!
Self-published comic, Quixote, is now available.
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