"Blood & Dust: Glenny Family Values #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Night Shade Comics
Written by Michael R. Martin and Adam J. Orndorf
Illustrated by Tone Rodriguez
Colored by Raymund Lee
2017, 26 Pages
Judd Glenny is one mean sonuvabitch. We've seen him in the 1970s fighting a swamp monster in an effort to keep the public away from his vampire family. Now we get a glimpse into his past to when he rejoined his kin and created this little coven of sorts. At this point, he is already a vampire and we don't have the details as to how he became that way just yet. Instead, we get a much more heartbreaking tale of love, loss, and absolute terror.
Despite his gruff nature, Judd Glenny's heart is in the right place. It's just that it's not beating anymore. He comes across his granddaughter, Ruth, as she's lying in her deathbed. Her children are watching helplessly while their mother withers away. Judd takes matters into his own hands, turning his granddaughter into a vampire. By doing so, he saves her life, but the result is different and deformed. The vampire nature reacts strangely to the disease ravaging her body, creating something darker and more sinister.
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Judd sets out to do something good and ends up creating a monster. We see this play out in the past as well as in the present, as his granddaughter has escaped. She's roaming out there in the woods, potentially feasting on innocent people, so Judd has to catch up to her before she hurts anyone else.
All of this is riveting stuff that really pulls you in, but it's what follows that elevates Blood & Dust to a whole new level. It separates itself from the basic tropes of the vampire sub-genre by being something new and different. Judd's actions create an abomination that only gets worse. It's no secret that his great-grandkids are also vampires and you might be able to connect the dots as to how that comes to be. It's like Judd is trying to plug holes in a dam with his fingers and he's running out of digits. This creation is unnatural and the world seems to react to it in violent ways.
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Artist Tone Rodriguez brings a human quality to the vampires. They're not cold, emotionless creatures. Instead, they're real people with real family values. Judd is the patriarch of this strange clan and he does what's best for his loved ones, even if that means getting his hands dirty. He's a hard man and you'd think twice to cross him. He could stop you dead in your tracks with a single glare.
It says something that Judd in his human form is almost as scary as Ruth in her vampire form. I say almost because Ruth is pretty friggin' terrifying. Her mouth opens to literally spread ear-to-ear, filling half her face with rows of sharp teeth. Her eyes glow red with no pupils. Her hands end in claw-like fingers. This is no longer a human being. It's a monster.
Blood & Dust takes the vampire mythos to new heights with Glenny Family Values. It separates itself from other appearances of the creature to tell a unique, gripping story. In short, it's damn good. I'm very curious as to where writers Michael R. Martin and Adam J. Orndorf take the Glenny Family next.
At the time of this writing, Blood & Dust: Glenny Family Values is seeking funding on Kickstarter to publish the complete graphic novel.