The Horror Honeys: Day Men: My Job Sucks

Day Men: My Job Sucks

A Comics Honey Review by Shannon

Title: Day Men Volume 1
Author: Matt Gagnon, Michael Alan Nelson
Artist:  Brian Stelfreeze, Darrin Moore, Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Released: November 2014

Artwork 5/5
Layout 5/5
Writing 5/5
Characters 4/5
Total:  4 1/2 Vampire Fangs!

For thousands of years, the world has been controlled by the "50 Families," a secret network of vampire covens engaged in a timeless struggle for power. But when the sun rises, the vampires are forced to employ the services of a human who acts as their daytime fixer and protector. Trained for centuries to be the mortal soldiers of their vampire employers, the 'Day Men' go forth at sunrise, alone into the world, to do the bidding of their sleeping benefactors.

Day Men Volume 1 collects issues #1-4. 

I stumbled across Day Men when I was browsing through comixology in the horror section, and it was a random pick for the week. Much like many of us in Horror genre, I was tired of the lackluster Vampire fare being put out in theatres/VOD. Truth be told, some of the best Vampire fiction today is actually being made into comics like American Vampire, and as I've newly discovered, Day Men.

If any of you folks ever enjoyed playing the White Wolf RPG games, particularly the Vampire the Masquerade/Requiem system, then this is relevant to your interests!

And you thought YOUR job was murder. 
Artwork & Layout
Oh. My. GOD. The Artwork is GORGEOUS.

The interior pages of Day Men is illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze, I'd go through his comic biblography but I don't have the space because his list is HUGE! He has worked on nearly every Superhero comic in DC, and other companies, in many roles as pencils, inker, colourist and cover artist... oh, and he is also a painter. Who do I sell my soul to, to get this kind of talent!?!

All of Brian's artwork in Day Men is slick and dynamic, with a very cinematic look to the panel layouts. The backgrounds are rendered beautifully and the characters are very distinct looking, not to mention the action scenes are smooth as butter as they flow through the pages

Stelfreeze's artwork is complimented beautifully with colours by Darrin Moore, filled with contrasting day and nighttime color palettes and fantastic use of lighting and shadow (as it should be with a Supernatural horror setting)
And finally, the artwork is finished with Lettering by Ed Dukeshire. All of the speech balloons and caption boxes flow with the layout and are pleasant to read through. My only gripe is with one of the font styles used in the interjections, but this is really minor and doesn't detract from the art at all.

Remember, it's not a party until someone's dead. 


Writing
Remember what I was saying about White Wolf? 

Writers, Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson, created the world of Day Men that feels similar to the White Wolf universe, with a touch of The Sopranos thrown in for good measure. 

All the vampires in the world are part of Aristocratic families or “Houses” who run much of the world behind the scenes. Because they are still likely to die when they sleep during the day, they employ human servants called Day Men - a clever word play on the Greek myth of Daemons – benevolent or benign nature spirits who come to the aid of humans.

Day Men feels like a campaign in the Ghoul system, in which our main character  David Reid, is the newest Day Man of the Virgo House - Day Men tend not to live long of course, and the need to recruit new agents occurs frequently.

DENTAL PLAN!

In Volume 1, David is investigating the deaths of various House members, as the vampires were hunted, killed and their teeth sold in the black market. Over the course of the book, it seems like these deaths may not be coming from forces outside, but rather inside. The suspects? The 50 other families and their associates.

The writing does a good job of describing the world, the politics and the intrigue of these warring families, and plays itself as a captivating film noir.

Characters
Primarily the comic follows David Reid during his investigation and his interactions with the vampires and how David can feel more like a prisoner rather than a bodyguard at times, as the House of Virgo and House of Ramses threaten to dispose of him any moment.

Meanwhile, you've got the vampires of these rival houses with their alliances and backstabbings, plotting to overthrow the other and sending their “Sundogs” to do their dirty work. Pretty much like your typical mobster film!

... with more vampire sex. Obvs. 

Conclusion
Day Men is a shot of new blood in the tired Vampire genre while incorporating classic film noir and crime drama elements. Filled with slick visuals and an intriguing political thriller plot – Day Men will entertain you through the day and into the night.

In short: It's the best unofficial Vampire: The Masquerade adaptation I have ever read.

Don't botch your computer check, just check the links below!

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