West of Sundown #1 is a Horror/Western comic created by Tim Seeley, Aaron Campbell, Jim Terry, Triona Farrell and Crank! as it follows the journey of a man attempting to return his vampiric mistress back to the place of her rebirth. Can it take a big bite out of the comic shop shelves or will it burn up once it hits sunlight?
West of Sundown tells the story of Constance Der Abend, a beautiful vampire who with her assistant, former soldier Dooley O’Hannessey, feeds on the social elite’s worst characters in New York City. However, when a group of mysterious monster slayers attack her home, Constance and Dooley must flee New York and make a pilgrimage to the New Mexico desert in order for Constance to return to the soil on which she was reborn. However, as they make their way across the frontier, the pair discover that more monsters may just lie ahead of their journey than behind it.
Tim Seeley and Aaron Campbell have crafted an intriguing read within the pages of West of Sundown. Reminiscent of Vampire movies such as Vampire in Brooklyn and Interview with a Vampire thanks to its opening scenes, the plot in this issue is a very slow burn as it lines up the core characters of Constance and Dooley. Both leads enhance the intrigue of the overall story with Constance, whose cuts a sharp arrival with a look that seems like a cross between Vampirella and Elvira, reveals little beyond the place of her rebirth and her penchant for the necks of High Society. Dooley, meanwhile, is equally enigmatic as he comes across as a man with a tremendous weight (or even guilt?) on his shoulders but yet seems to continue on the path behind Constance. It’s this lack of exposition which leaves many questions by the end, questions which are only added to when the terrifyingly looking big bad is revealed at the issues end.
Speaking of reveals, the art in West of Sundown is truly dripping in a gorgeous horror vibe thanks to the art team of Jim Terry and Triona Farrell. Terry’s pencils are incredibly creepy in a vein similar to another Vault comic, The Picture of Everything Else. However, this changes tack in places, particularly with the double page spreads, when Terry seems to go full horror with a look that is something like the style of Theatrics but done with a Francesco Francavilla vibe. This vibe is only enhanced thanks to Farrell’s colours, who seems to contrast the ‘normal’ moments with cool, wintery tones before setting the pages alight (in some cases literally) with loud, warm reds and oranges which really ramps the horror feeling up to eleven.
West of Sundown #1 sets the stage for a truly engrossing and blood curdling horror story. While Seeley and Campbell’s story moves at a snail’s pace in this opening instalment, it leaves so many breadcrumbs for the future combined with some really succulent art that I think it is definitely worth digging your teeth into it and checking it out.