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Day Men Volume 1: Lux in Tenebris - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published January 20th 2019
A frightful foray into the fang trade
day men, comics, vampires, vampire comics, supernatural, graphic novel

David Reid is one of the Day Men, human employees who do various tasks for vampires while they sleep. He is employed by the powerful Virgo family. When a member of the rival Ramses family is found murdered and Nybor Virgo, wayward son of the Virgos, is implicated, war breaks out.

Day Men is a comic about vampires from the perspective of their human servants. It is not to be confused with Trent Jamieson's Day Boys, which has a similar premise but is otherwise very different (set in Australia and as much a coming of age story as it is about vampires). Usually, I find vampire stories that focus on the politics of vampire families (as in White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade role-playing game and its novelisations and TV series) a bit dull, but seeing things from Reid's point of view helped. Reid's duties for the Virgo family range from delivering groceries to their human pets to babysitting the wayward Nybor, whom he has to retrieve from a vampire brothel. There is plenty of vampire politics, but Reid is on the outer edge of it, just trying to survive.

The plot centres around the illegal fang trade, and the rise of a strange new threat that is neither vampire nor human. Volume one collects the first 4 issues of the series. The writing, by Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson (28 Days Later), is top notch. The art, by Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther) didn't thrill me, but it's not terrible.

Day Men is a vampire story with a twist, more about organised crime than it is about bloodsucking monsters. It's worth a look if you enjoy crime fiction. The story continues in Day Men Volume 2: Ex Curia.
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