An out-of-work college graduate with a chemistry degree has been trying to find a job for two years and desperately reaches out to her last chance, a rumored mad scientist with a creepy voice. This intriguing story idea is the basis for Linda Sejic’s Blood Stain (Volume One), a paperback imprint of Sejic’s webcomic of the same name.
Elliot “Elly” Torres is a twenty-something who does not know what she wants to do with her life or what use her chemistry degree will be to find a job. Living with her mother, sister and brother-in-law, Elly is drifting through life from failed job to failed job while being addicted to online gaming until her mother has to go to the hospital and her sister Claire gives birth. These changes put the entire family in financial straits and Elly has to help make ends meet, it hasn’t gone well for a variety of reasons. Finally in desperation she inquires on a years old job posting from her old college, it’s then that her life gets really interesting and seemingly in jeopardy.
That short description of the first chapter of Blood Stain only gives you a glimpse of what actually transpires in this volume of Sejic’s work. What I can’t elaborate on is the varieties of humor interwoven throughout the approximately 100 pages of story nor the fabulous characters of Elly and her sister Claire that dominate most of the story nor their interactions, which only add depth to their characterizations. In fact the one thing I forgot to mention above in my description is that all the male characters that appear are secondary in this chapter to both sisters, who’s interaction with and reaction to one another drives this first chapter of Sejic’s larger work. It is only when the scene shifts to Elly’s new work place that the rest of the eventual main cast is introduced.
Comics in all forms depend on three things: characters, story, and visuals. Sejic’s art is fantastic not only in her characters but also the scenes in which she sets that add atmosphere to the scenes and layers to the story in their own way. In addition to her work on the story itself, the end of book bonus material finds Sejic showing the creative process of how Blood Stain came about not only the story idea but how ideas turned to sketches that turned to pages. Not only do readers see the evolution of Elly and her two fellow “cast” members, but long time readers of the webcomic get the added pleasure of seeing some of Sejic’s non-continuity one-shot images of humorous and/or sexy nature that she has been inspired to create through her own imaginative process on paper instead of just on their computer screens.
As a longtime fan of Linda Sejic’s webcomic, I could not wait to have Blood Stain (Volume One) in my hands and to see the story in paper. It’s hard for me to articulate to those who have never heard of the webcomic or of the author about why they should buy this book, so I hope at least those who are intrigued by this review will at least search out the Blood Stain webcomic and view it for themselves. That way Linda Sejic’s work will speak for itself more than I ever could.