Don’t Ever Blink #1 and #2 – Review
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Issues 1 and 2 thrust us deep into this murder mystery that teeters on the brink of being a serial killer drama inspired and worshipped by a manic cult. So much so, there are shades of Helter Skelter present with the turn of every page.
You can pick up Issues 1 and 2 of Don’t Ever Blink through Brian Hawkins and Richard Kemp’s comic book imprint: Pendulum Heart.
Don’t Ever Blink #1 and #2 Story
Don’t Ever Blink tells the story of a serial killer who leaves their mark by sewing their victim’s eyes shut. From early on it taps into the more sinister and maniacal areas of horror whilst not going too deep down the rabbit hole and being a throw away schlocky slasher comic.
Don’t Ever Blink welcomes us into a visually disturbing opening scene where the main protagonist and faux heroine, Tinsley, is reliving a truly horrific scene as she’s questioned by detectives. Tinsley stumbles through a veritable madhouse of horrors as dead body upon dead body decorates the landscape of the first few pages. The remains of an expert serial killer’s handiwork. A bloodletting that makes the Manson Family in Sharon Tate’s house look like mere foreplay.
The remaining page of this scene takes this thrilling chamber of death to a whole new level of heights when Tinsley tracks down her phone displaying an ominous text message “don’t ever blink.” Closely followed by a dark figure, probably the killer, creep up and inject her with a cocktail of whatever the fuck is in that syringe, leaving Tinsley to wake up in a hospital being interrogated by police Detective Rendall.
The scene that follows, involves the pursuit and capture of what is shortly introduced to us as one of the followers of this killer who has been on the loose for over a year. The idea that the killer has, through his actions, garnered somewhat of a cult following. A cult that is prepared to die for the success of their lord murderer to continue. Bringing issue 1 to a blood splattering end with the follower that is sent to jail; is found dead in their cell with the words painted on the walls in blood:
“He’s coming back for all of us
In a blink of an eye we will be changed
And we will see:
Don’t ever blink.”
Issue 2 of Don’t Ever Blink breaks down the walls of Tinsley’s dreamscape nightmare which feels like writer Brian Hawkins worshipped at the altar of Dario Argento’s Suspiria for an entire summer. Issue Two’s opening scene feels like the fragmented reliving of this series introductory crime. A well thought approach to this follow up issue is how it explores and dissects the crime Tinsley experienced as early on in the piece as when we were first introduced to it in Issue 1. Giving both Issues a wonderful realm of synergy with one another.
This allows room for Issue 2 to breathe as its own entity and for the exploration of this sordid murderous world through the eyes of Detective Rendall. Tinsley pursues Rendall when she receives another text message which bears an uncomfortable resemblence to the blood spattered graffiti that closed out Issue 1. Rendall, telling Tinsley to leave it alone and leave home for a while, follows a trail that eventually leads to a back of little shop of horrors, minus the carnivorous plants but with a display of torturous sadism, which closes out the second issue.
Don’t Ever Blink #1 and #2 Artwork
Artist Richard Kemp takes us through a rough ride in the Don’t Ever Blink world with his rough style of drawing which is a perfect extension of Brian Hawkins’ script. Kemp’s style takes us through what feels like a B grade movie, if a B grade movie was well thought out. Despite the avoidance of a clean style you might be used to, Kemp’s illustrative work bleeds raw emotion and evokes an eloquent sense of dread. The characters feel just as broken as the Hawkins has scripted them. Ironically, it’s all in their eyes.
A style which is balanced so expertly with Guido Martinez’s lettering. A style which has a way of not over crowding each panel. Martinez has a way of spotting appropriate points of where the captions and speech balloons should go, in a way that rank amateurs are still trying to figure out.
Don’t Ever Blink #1 and #2 Conclusion
Issues 1 and 2 of Don’t Ever Blink aren’t breaking the mould of comic books. They’re not reinventing the wheel. They’re certainly not Alan Moore-ing their way up the graphic novel hierarchy of comic book creativity. However, I’d point this series out as a prime example of Indie Comic Book ingenuity and the importance of substance over style.
Don’t Ever Blink is a well written serial killer comic series that’ll make your hairs stand on end. It’s just as sinister as Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson’s Nailbiter while standing on its own two feet from style to story. The script has been painstakingly nurtured to a point where you have a sinister killer on the loose – who you have to find out who it is. The mystery will make you come back for Issue 3. An issue the creators are hard at work creating, I’m told.
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