From the mind of Skottie Young (Rocket Raccoon, I Hate Fairyland, and Middlewest) comes Image’s The Me You Love in the Dark, a strange sort of spooky, romantic tale that’s perfect for the start of fall and the Halloween season.
The comic’s main character is a successful artist named Rowena Meadows who is currently struggling to come up with new material. Thinking that a change of scenery will help inspire her muse, she rents a huge old Victorian-style home in the middle of nowhere, despite rumors of it being haunted. Ro, as she prefers to be called, sets up her easel in a bright room with floor-to-ceiling windows and attempts to draw. However, even with a record spinning on her portable player and a glass of wine nearby, she finds herself repeatedly facing a blank canvas. Weeks pass by and yet Ro still finds herself without an ounce of inspiration.
Either in frustration or loneliness (or perhaps too much wine), Ro finds herself talking to the ghost that supposedly haunts the house she is renting. She chides it, saying “You know, you could at least start the record and pour my wine for me” as she stares at her still too blank canvas.
The next evening, as Ro prepares to pour herself a glass of wine and attempt to draw yet again, she hears her record player start up, the music pouring in from another room. Confused and a little freaked out, she goes to investigate, but the spell is broken when her phone rings and she answers a call from her friend and agent (I think, the comic doesn’t specify his title), Atti.
Afterwards, Ro returns again to the blank canvas, entirely too aware of the urgency to produce some art after her phone call with Atti. Unable to surmount her creative block, she smashes her little art studio, sending paint and brushes flying as she appeals to the ghost yet again, imploring it to tell her if she should just give up on being an artist and return to the life she lived before she found success.
And that’s when the ghost answers her.
What follows is a tale of a lonely, struggling artist and the dark entity that inspires her to re-find her creativity.
So far, only the first two issue of The Me You Love in the Dark have been released, with the third (of what will be five total) coming out on October 6th. Thus far, the tone is one of camaraderie and perhaps a little mutual admiration, but it appears that Ro is attempting to put a human face on something that is distinctly not human. It seems…unlikely that this duo will be allowed to continue in this vein for long.
What I like about this comic is the fact that, even though it involves the paranormal, there’s still a level on which it’s relatable. I’m not really an artist but, as a writer, I’ve definitely faced writer’s block. There’s nothing worse than staring at that blank page when you know that you have words that need to be put down. I imagine that the scenes where Ro was facing that blank canvas felt very personal to both Young and series artist Jorge Corona, and it makes sense that Ro would reach out to whatever muse she encounters.
Speaking of the artwork, I also really like the style of art that’s used in The Me You Love in the Dark. Corona worked with Young on Image’s Middlewest, but is also known for his work on DC’s We Are Robin, Nightwing, and more. His drawings here are such that Ro’s expressions are easily decipherable, and the scenery is clearly depicted, but there’s still a sort of jaggedness to the art that I think goes well with horror-style comics. I also like how the “ghost” is mostly darkness, but that you can just make out a shape in that darkness. It’s very well done.
I’ve very excited to see where this tale goes and highly recommend you pick up the first two issues if you’re able to find them (the first issue has already gone to a second printing), and then throw the title on your subscription list. It seems the true terror is about to reveal itself.
Here's a short trailer from Image, if you need further convincing:
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.