Daniel: A Grave Tale of Horror is a completed horror webcomic created by Sarah Nelson. The story takes place in the 1930s and follows Christine and Daniel, two close friends living in small-town Illinois. The possibility for something more than friendship simmers below the surface, but tragedy strikes before the two can act on it. Soon, mysterious deaths start plaguing the town, and local law enforcement are woefully unprepared for what’s to come. The webcomic can be read in its entirety here: http://www.vermillionworks.com/daniel/archives/comic/daniel-%E2%99%A6-a-grave-tale-of-horror
One of my favourite things about horror stories is how horror is used to explore a wide variety of themes. At the core of Daniel is the relationship between the the titular Daniel and Christine. Without delving into spoilers, Daniel has moments of intense gore and violence that also deal with themes of vengeance and regret. Characters change and the tragedy changes with them. As the relationship between the characters develops, readers are confronted with the question of just how deep devotion goes before it becomes something more sinister.
The comic uses a greyscale colour scheme that does nothing to diminish the brutal violence that happens throughout. Occasionally, the story uses spot colour to enhance the panels to chilling effect. The author knows how to make a reader cringe. In contrast to the violence, there are also moments of psychological horror that didn’t show anything graphic but left me with a grimy feeling months after reading. The website lists content warnings on a side panel so readers can make sure they can handle what is to come.
It is always a treat to find a fully completed webcomic, so be sure to check this one out! Nelson has several other comics in the works which you can find out more about by following Nelson’s Twitter, @VermillionWorks. Tune in next week for another Halloween comic review!