"Blood & Dust: Volume 2 – Glenny Family Values" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Night Shade Comics
Written by Michael R. Martin
Illustrated by Tone Rodriguez
Colored by Raymund Lee
2017, 88 Pages
When we last left Judd Glenny, he had stopped the swamp monster from eating some local children, but this came at a cost. His granddaughter, Ruth, kept captive for some time to protect everyone else from her violent tendencies, escaped. Now Judd is on a race against time with Eddie Jacobs, a local man who just learned of the supernatural nature of his neighbor. They have to find Ruth and bring her home before she slaughters everyone in her path. Along the way, we witness the origin of Judd and his vampire family in the form of flashbacks.
Both the past and present narratives of Blood & Dust: Volume 2 – Glenny Family Values are absolutely gripping. Let's start with the flashbacks. We've heard vampire stories for ages, but never quite like this. Judd's history dates back to the Civil War, a conflict he tried to stay out of, but was pulled in after his wife and child were killed. This created a bloodlust in him that was not easily sated. This rage boiled inside him, making him a perfect candidate for something dark and evil.
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See, Judd and his kin are not vampires in the traditional sense. They're something more demonic, feeding on blood and emotion. Writer Michael R. Martin crafts this new mythos that plays off of the established vampire legends, creating something entirely new and different. It's like a shamanistic take on the monster.
And what a monster it is. Artist Tone Rodriguez brings this deadly creature to life. It's a swirling cloud of hate, ready to swallow Judd in one gulp. Once it gets its claws into him, what remains is something in between. The two fight for control with increasingly violent results. Judd was a tough son of a bitch to begin with and this just makes him even more so. From the first time you see the man, you get the sense that he's not to be trifled with. He will suffer no fools and he does not have time for any of your nonsense.
As scary as Judd is, he's a kitten compared to Ruth. Where Judd is able to hold the monster back, Ruth has embraced every evil thing about it. She revels in its thirst for blood, smiling as it trickles down her chin. Anyone and everyone that gets in her way is a target. What makes this all the more tragic is her humble beginnings. She was turned into this creature out of love, as Judd tried to do some good in this world by saving three young children the hardship of watching their mother wither away and die. Ruth was too far gone though, so when the monster mixed with the sickness that was eating her away, something horrible came through.
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What follows is simultaneously revolting and heartbreaking. You see Judd at his most desperate as he struggles to put together some semblance of a family. This contrasts with the first volume and the somewhat happy home life he has with his great grandkids. It began with a night of terror and carnage.
I'm just scratching the surface of what's included in Blood & Dust: Volume 2. This graphic novel is packed with story that greatly expands the lives of the characters established in the first series. More importantly, it opens things up considerably for another series and I certainly hope we get a chance to see where this Southern horror tale goes.
Blood & Dust: The Life and Undeath of Judd Glenny is a powerhouse of a vampire comic. Its follow-up, Glenny Family Values, takes it to new heights. It strikes the right balance between family drama and pure, unbridled terror. Do not miss this book.
You can buy Blood & Dust: Glenny Family Values directly from Night Shade Comics.