In a desperate bid to win back his ex-girlfriend Star, Goth magician Satori attempts to summon a demon to aid him, but ends up unleashing Lilith the mother of demons upon the world. Lilith seduces Star and draws her into a journey of dark passion as Satori attempts to track them down and save his lost love.
Starblood’s cover proclaims “Contains nudity and scenes of a sexual and violent nature” in no uncertain terms. However, this doesn’t properly prepare you for the amount of sex and violence that occur at the same time. The story is driven by emotion at its most intense and unadulterated, unflinchingly laying bare the lust and cruelty of humanity’s basest instincts in all their primal hedonism.
The meat of the story is the relationship between Star and Lilith, as the young woman is pulled ever deeper into the world of obsession and death the demon queen drives her down. Lilith’s commanding confidence and unbridled sensuality is a manifestation of all the things Star wishes she could be, and in being with her new lover she is granted the freedom to be who she truly is.
There is a strongly feminist aesthetic that runs through the story, not just from the female characters having far more prominence than the men and remaining undefined by them, but also by incorporating the original interpretation of Lilith, not as the mother of demons but as the first wife of Adam, cast aside and banished from Eden for refusing to be subservient to him.
The frequent sex is erotic enough to feel the sensuality of the couplings, but avoids becoming so voyeuristically explicit as to descend to mere pornography. The stark greyscale shading of the artwork is perfect for capturing the sway of undulating bodies and dark blood flowing from self-inflicted cuts.
There is a constant issue in the speech balloons rarely lining up in such a way that makes it clear what order they’re supposed to be read in, requiring conversations to be read two or three times before they can be experienced properly. Additionally, the dialogue itself is somewhat bland and perfunctory, and when juxtaposed with the poetic narration of caption boxes it might have been better had the whole story been told that way, better conveying its hypnotic and dreamlike flow.
Starblood is a dark tale in the truest sense of the word. Sex, death, guilt, love, betrayal, violence and redemption are all portrayed in equal measure, and it’s shown that the potential for them all exists in each of us creatures of inherent contradiction, despite how much we might try to suppress them.
STARBLOOD / AUTHOR: CARMILLA VOIEZ / ARTIST: ANNA PRASHKOVICH / PUBLISHER: SELF PUBLISHED / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW