Loud tells the story of an evening in the eponymous nightclub, following a diverse and somewhat surreal cast of characters comprised of both the club’s staff and customers.
Much like Maria Llovet’s BOOM! titles Faithless and Heartbeat, this is a book filled with sex and the supernatural. But unlike those series, Loud has far too much going on, there’s something happening at every moment, and makes for something of a confusing read, particularly given the sheer volume of characters and the semi-silent nature of the storytelling. Although this confusion is intentional and serves to highlight the chaos within the nightclub by flitting between the various narratives of the staff and clientele, the confusion is a little bit too well done.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m more than willing to indulge the chaos, but in this instance it does start to feel like by following multiple characters narratives there’s often too much happening. The idea of numerous interlocking tales happening in the same place isn’t a new idea, and I feel like it is done well in Loud. I think my criticism would be that Maria Llovet’s love of the occult feels somewhat unnecessary here. This could have been an interesting story of the muddled events within a nightclub on any given night, and it’s almost a shame that there is more to it than that. A slice of surreal nightlife, rather than a slice of nightlife.
Maria Llovet’s artwork is immediately recognizable, and while it may not feel as smooth here as it does in some of her other work I feel like that does suit this particular book, feeling both chaotic and beautiful in different moments. However, as Llovet does consistently shine as an artist I do feel at times the ambitious narrative does need a little more refining.
I don’t want to give too much away, and it would be difficult to, as this is a book with so much to unpack. I don’t doubt this is exactly what some people will be looking for in a graphic novel, and if you enjoyed Faithless this will almost definitely be right up your alley.