Darkest Night #1 and 2
Written and drawn by Hayden Fryer
Published by Siberian Productions
Darkest Night comes to us from Sydney, Australia, and comic creator Hayden Fryer. Fryer got on my radar many years ago with his comic book Billy: Demon Slayer, which I quite enjoyed. The only demons you find in Darkest Night are the personal kind, as Fryer works up a story about loss and what comes next.
The book is centered around the emotionally rich trials and tribulations of three lives in a small ocean town as they cross paths through love, death, and revenge. Moreso, the book first starts off with loss. The main character, Caleb Marcus, has lost his girlfriend, Carlie. For Carlie, it is on to bigger and better things; dating new guys, enjoying the hell out of her life.
For Caleb, it means loss. It means hurt. It means not having that great girl by your side and the emotions that go with that. At every turn, no matter what he’s doing, he doesn’t have Carlie. So life basically sucks. That’s when he learns his parents died. So that brings forth just more hurt and despair. Who do you turn to then?
The series shows so much great promise, and not just in the teenage angst sort of way. It’s a beautifully drawn and poignantly told story. I’ve already told you about the love and the death, but what’s left for the reader is plenty of revenge.
I asked Fryer where the idea of the book came from, to which he said, “It was actually originally intended to be more of a high concept supernatural story that focused predominantly on the latter aspects of the ‘Love, Death, and Revenge’ byline. But during the early stages of production, I was finding that there were elements of that particular narrative which weren’t quite working as effectively as I had hoped.”
He continues, “After a few years gestating on the back burner while I completed other projects, I returned to it with fresh eyes and stripped the whole thing down to just the core characters. Thankfully it was through this reapproaching it from Caleb’s perspective that I found a stronger, more emotionally heavy character piece emerging.”
As for what Fryer is most proud of in writing and drawing this series, he had to say, “I can’t say much about it without inadvertently giving away too much of the possible future arcs (the story’s been in a constant state of evolution, even during the final productions stages), but one of the most enjoyable parts of where it’s at now has certainly been releasing it to the public without context or backstory and watching how people both relate and respond to it. That, and one person recommending it by simply saying, ‘It’ll make you cry.’”
If you are looking for a great indie tale of love and loss, then Darkest Night is a book you should check out. In print it’s available directly from www.siberianproductions.com, while those on ComiXology can download two of the issues right now with the final issue of the first story arc due for release early next year.
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