Written by Jesse Blaze Snider and Will Knox
$ymptom$ by David Witt with Michael Spicer
Madhatten by Jason Pearson, Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, Erik Larsen and Chris Eliopoulos
Frozen by J.K. Woodward
Hammer by Andrea Tamme
Bizarro by Chris Barnham, David Witt and Michael Spices
Review by Mattthew Iung
This comic is the end of a journey that started with a simple love for comics and music.
Black Light District: 6 Issues was headed up by Jesse Blaze Snider, a long time comic book and music lover who decided to bring his two loves together. Enlisting his friend Will Knox as co-writer and the two started working.
To break down the project as a whole we have to back to March. On March 26th the Black Light District EP was made available for purchase on itunes. Between March 16th and September 16th, short stories were posted as motion comic music videos with their corresponding song. Those stories were then collected into this one-shot print comic. On the inside cover of the issue itself under where the the titles of each story are listed, there is a caption that says “go to http://www.blacklightdistrict.co/ and listen along.” Upon opening the site the music will start. At this point a newcomer to the project will probably realize that the lyrics to each song are the words for each story in the comic.
Comics don’t literally speak to people and they have no score or soundtrack to set mood or build suspense. Music and soundtrack are an extremely important part of mediums where you need to set a mood quickly or perhaps build to a jump scare. On the other end you have songs that play on the radio to tell stories or entertain. Whether you are angry or throwing a party there is a song for that. Songs make you cry, laugh and wonder how something got on the radio. Like music there is a comic out there for everyone if you look and this one-shot is proof of that. The variety of imagery and stories with the addition of music is what ties everything about this comic together. Of course the book can be read without the music. The imagery alone could tell a story with how striking, beautiful and shocking it is at times but the soul of the piece is missing if the music isn’t playing. All of those elements are what make this comic an experience worth having.
6 Issues has a double meaning it relates to the six short stories as well as the issues each of those short stories represent. Those issues range from politics to depression and even the comic industry itself. Each one put through a different lenses represented by the art style. The stories are beautifully illustrated each unique and tailored to fit its song. With such a variety of art styles it’s not hard to imagine someone going into their local comic shop pointing to a page and asking “What else can I read that looks like this?”. That’s really amazing because even some anthology titles can be intimidating it’s not the easiest thing to come across a one-shot anthology that has no ties to any other comics.
Verdict Buy. Weather it’s the comic or the EP, Buy. With Six different messages to convey its going to be hard not to connect with at least one of them. All of that and more is why this is highly recommended to art lovers music lovers and comic lovers alike. Theses stories and songs were made for this purpose and are the complete package. It is so rare that something that had this much work and love poured into only cost $3.99. If you don’t have the money or don’t want to take the chance go listen the music. While it can be purchased it’s also free if you go to the website and the motion comic music videos are on Youtube if you just want to hear Snider’s sound. The links will be down below if anyone wants to experience the tremendous amount of content that Black Light District 6 Issues has to offer.
Black Light District website
Youtube music video playlist.