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on October 2, 2008 - 12:13pm

Vermillion comic book
If you look up the definition of Vermillion, most dictionaries offer "the edge of the red pigment around the lips". Intriguing.

I recently made time to snuggle up with a new comic book from Waheela Comics. Not to be confused with DC's dystopian comic (cancelled after a short run), Vermillion comes from an independent publishing company out of Detroit.

I often find indie comics have more grit, and a bit more soul than those created by larger corporations. Such was my findings with this new publication.

While I appreciated the artwork of Alan Brooks (who has illustrated for the Bluewater Productions Ray Harryhausen title "Flying Saucers vs the Earth") displayed on the cover, I wasn't fully invested. Then I looked inside.

The black and white illustrations immediately gave this comic credibility with me. It's dark and almost grainy, with a distinct sense of movement about it. Kind of like watching a colourless dream (or nightmare). It's hard to see what's lurking in the black corners of the pictures, as if you're waiting for your eyes to adjust in the darkness (as the characters themselves are experiencing). The unique appearance could be due to the fact that the comic is printed on an antique press (that combined with the sketch-quality of the illustrator, Clay McCormack, whose work includes "A Tale From a World of Dead Meat", among others).

Vermillion illustrations

As for the plot, I was pleasantly surprised to find a Canadian character in the mix. I would have liked the comic regardless, but it was a nice touch. I have to give them credit for capturing the essence of how a French-Canadian speaks (without making his character cliche). Perhaps the script writer, Holden Corsair, has spent some time north of the border.

I don't want to ruin the plot for anyone smart enough to give this comic a look, so I'll be vague. The first edition offers some nice twists and character development, so by the end of it I am genuinely interested to see what happens next. Luckily, Vermillion Ep. II is in the works (Scott Rosema of "Space Ghost" is illustrating the cover) so I won't be left wondering.

Here's the plot description from the website:

Vermillion is a dark psychological thriller set in Detroit. Investigator Fitzsimmons is partnered with a French-Canadian expert on serial killers. The two hit the gritty back streets of Detroit to find a deranged sociopath who mutilates his victims with primal savagery. But is the killer human?

From now until Oct. 31st, Waheela Comics is running a Halloween Special, Vemillion Ep. 1 signed, sleeved and delivered (mailed anywhere in the US for $4.50 total; international customers, some shipping charges may apply). Check out the Halloween page highlighting Eddy Newell (DC's Black Lightning) and trailers for upcoming horror movies.

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