Image Comics introduces a unique blend of story, illustration, and music to the comic book world. Black Light District is a one-shot featuring six issues with a range of diverse stories, bold colors, and an eclectic assortment of musical tunes to keep the readers bobbing their heads.
The cover, illustrated by Chris Burnham and Andrew Dalhouse, presents a bold look to match the unique premise of this comic book. It highlights a person with headphones, clearly listening to the same music the reader will be enjoying, while surrounded by images emphasized by black lighting. Neon colors pop from the page as classic, ’80s-looking posters shroud the walls and ceiling, which a reader could spend plenty of time trying to figure out where they might’ve seen each one before. Through all of these vivid and distracting images, one might overlook the world afire just outside the window.
As you peer through the pages, politics will be compared to a zombie plague, life’s “best days are wasted on youth,” and ignorant people will lead to war and destruction of the Earth. Each issue has a various look ranging from 1950s newspaper cartoons to present-day animated movies. Changing illustrations, plus the dynamic music choices, allow the reader to immerse into each story, which helps alleviate a slight difficulty in following some of the lyrics based on if you have a tablet or not.
The most poignant issue is called “Hammer.” Artist Andrea Tamme creates wonderful artwork perfectly suited for the big screen. This story follows a woman and the life she leads, as it deals with reaching for the stars and learning to move on with life after tragedy strikes. In a small number of panels, Tamme illustrates an amazing story, while music and lyrics nail the significance of life being lived and sorrowed simultaneously.
Jesse Blaze Snider writes lyrics to perfectly match this beautiful illustration, or perhaps the illustration is what matches the lyrics. Either way it will completely melt the reader’s heart and be enough of a reason to pick up this comic book. Snider does all of the story lyrics presenting an overall ominous or sadly reminiscent tone, making these tales seem somewhat like a warning of what’s to come or to appreciate what we already have. In the finest of senses, perhaps the reader will learn to appreciate life more, while never forgetting to understand where we might be headed.
Black Light District and its unique combination of music and colorful artwork is available in print and digital form.