REVIEW: Dame from the Dark has a Distinctive Noir Feeling

Dame from the Dark – Review

Dame from the Dark is a supernatural short comic book. The story is by Rob Pilkington with art by Kit Mills, and letters by Ariana Maher. Readers who enjoy comic books like Hellblazer will want to check out this short. 

Synopsis:

An unlikely partnership between a small-time criminal and a deceased Hollywood starlet leads to some strange detective adventures, as they try to get a bit of money using their combined skills. Their first mission is to find and bring home a runaway who serves as an assistant to a rather pretentious magician at “Magic Manor” in LA. When the situation gets complicated, they have to rely on their more supernatural skills to bring the kid home.

Dame from the Dark is published by TKO Studios and is available from March 1st, 2021.

Dame from the Dark TKO Shorts comic book review
Dame from the Dark front cover, courtesy of TKO Studios

Dame from the Dark – Story

Tommy is sitting at the bar of the “Magic Manor” with his partner, the dead starlet Eva. Early on, we get the impression that only Tommy can see and talk to Eva, unless she decides to show herself to others. Tommy seems reluctant but obligated to work with Eva, and she seems to get her kicks in where she can, using her spooky abilities to frighten those around them.  At one point, she even scares the daylights out of an older woman who is complimenting the drink Eva recommended Tommy order. Eva may be dead, but she’s still having fun.

The case that brought them to the “Magic Manor” is searching for a young runaway who works “Le Samson Fantastique,” the magician performing that night. Samson comes off as pretentious and a bit overblown, sort of like Criss Angel or David Blaine-type magician. Lots of style, not so much substance. The young runaway serves as an assistant to Samson, and we quickly realize that Samson has been abusing his assistant. 

Eva steals the next scenes, using her supernatural presence to scare Samson into a laughable submission. 

Dame from the Dark – Art

Dame from the Dark has a distinctive style. I particularly liked one of the art styles in the first few pages, where Tommy is sitting at the bar. There are other patrons behind him, but they’re simply outlined rather than drawn in full color. The audience can sense movement and chatter behind Tommy and Eva, but it’s clear they are the scene’s focus, and this art choice ultimately enhances that feeling. 

The lettering is also an unsung hero in this comic. It is subtle but sharp and on point throughout the comic. It does the work of highlighting interesting moments by working with the art in perfect harmony. I also just really enjoyed Eva’s design, she was my favorite character in this story. 

Dame from the Dark Conclusion

This comic is clearly a labor of love for the creators. The artist, Kit Mills, mentioned that Rob Pilkington, the writer, had approached them about creating this comic a few years back, and you can see in the pages that a lot of thought and work went into making this title. It has a distinctive noir-like feel with a relatively modern setting. 

It is a great self-contained story, I also found myself wanting to know more about Tommy and Eva. How did they meet? What happened to Eva so many years ago? I hope we see more from this team and learn more about the characters and their adventures. All in all, this was an entertaining and exciting story. 

Engage with the Creators

Rob Pilkington – Twitter

Kit Mills – Twitter

Ariana Maher – Twitter


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