I like magic, but I’m no magician.
I’m like mysteries, but I’m no detective (though I did once answer our home phone when I was eight by saying “Burns Detective Agency”, which briefly confused my father.
I like ghosts, and I’m not afraid of them (which may or may not be a true statement).
I love Los Angeles, even though I’m afraid to merge on freeways there.
When you put all these things together, as writer Rob Pilkington and artist Kit Mills have done in their new TKO Short, Dame From The Dark, well, you wind up with a comic that I really enjoyed.
Here’s the blurb:
A compelling mash-up of crime, comedy, and horror, the newest entry in the TKO Shorts comic series, Dame From The Dark, packs a punch from up-and-coming co-creators: recent Top Cow Talent Hunt runner-up, Rob Pilkington and celebrated comic artist Kit Mills (The Village Voice, Vice). Sequential noir fiends won’t want to miss this tantalizing tale primed to expand its secrets beyond this “spirited” debut!
Dame From The Dark features the prickly partnership between a small-time crook and the ghost of a plucky starlet from Hollywood’s golden age as they pose as detectives for quick cash. When they brave Los Angeles’ swanky “Magic Manor” to find a young runaway, the duo learns she’s a timid stage assistant trapped under the thumb of an abusive magician—and may need to apply some supernatural misdirection to help her escape.
Those of us who’ve been reading comics for a while often fall into the idea that we need grandiose storytelling that goes on for multiple issues, with swerves and surprises galore. There’s something comforting when you can actually sit down and read a story like Dame From The Dark and just lose yourself in it for the length of time it takes to read. Your mind doesn’t have to wander to what’s going to happen next month, or how do the 98 previously published issues tie-in with this one.
In Dame From The Dark, Pilkington and Mills put you right in the action, which is set at L.A.’s Magic Manor, and is no doubt inspired after the real-life, legendary Magic Castle. There’s not a ton of back story you need to digest. Instead, you just get to enjoy Pilkington’s clever rat-a-tat-tat dialogue between the living Tommy and the undead Eva, and Mills’ seriously evocative and timeless art.
Of course, while the story in Dame From The Dark is self-contained, it does plant more than enough seeds for future issues should Rob Pilkington and Kit Mills decide they want to tell more. I’ll definitely be there if they do.
You can pick up Dame From The Dark and other TKO Shorts here.