It feels as if we’re living through a sort of horror comic renaissance. Some months it seems like three-quarters of the books released by the indies (and a handful by the Big Two) are in some way horrific, whether it be full-fledged splatter-house gore, tragic possession, or books like Daisy, which incorporate gruesome mythologies into thriller-esque small-town mystery.
Because the market is sort of flooded with the creepy crawlers, it takes something unique to make a book stand out, and with its first issue, Daisy hints that it might just have that spark. A huge, scripture-like narrative looms over our present-day—a story of angels and giants, a war against God. The exposition—a reading from some unnamed religious tome—is stylistically dense, standing sparse against a blue-hued, prehistoric warzone.
This Biblical war informs the modern portion of the story, wherein the mother of a missing child finds herself doing the legwork the police have long since given up. This brings her to the secluded town of Brimount, a place with a religious zeal hiding beneath its surface.
The book offers more than the sum of its parts: in a medium where angelic violence is not unheard of, and small-town cults are by no means rare, the book has enough tonal surefootedness and atmospheric novelty to bring the two narratives together in a way that begs further reading. The central mystery of the missing child, and the generous helping of humanity given to his mother Lindsay, brings the reader right down to Earth, sidestepping the heavy mythology so that the human concern isn’t overshadowed.
The two parts feel considered enough to be their own narrative, and the concern might be for a comic to feel off-balance—for one half to smother the other—but somehow Daisy manages to give equal weight to both (even if the angel narrative only fills a third of the issue’s space). It’s rare that a book has the restraint to keep itself from overindulging in the fantasy at its core in order to allow a deeper narrative to take root, and it feels promising that the cohesion of the two parts—brought together by the titular Daisy, whose awesome height seems to bear truth in her fanatical beliefs—ensures that one narrative informs the other.
Given that this is a miniseries, the book only has so much room to continue this delicate balance and successfully weave the narratives together in such a way that one supports the other, and that’s the joy of a well-executed mini. Like a concise short story, a miniseries can truly have a stronger impact than a long-form book—there’s less room for extraneous narrative wandering—and this first issue of Daisy feels like a very strong opening paragraph to a really powerful short story.
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