I am of two minds with this graphic novel. On the one hand, the artwork is beautiful and I enjoyed every page. But on the other hand, the story went absolutely no where. This entire first volume is pure set up with no payoff about what the true story will be. I wouldn’t categorize Blood Stain as hilarious or even funny – rather, this was a light and fluffy piece that is very tongue in cheek. The characters were likable and very accessible. But I kept waiting for the plot to actually kick in – and it never did.
Plot: Elliot is a screw up – she can’t hold down a job and living with her sister is becoming problematic as expenses mount. It looks like she will have to take the absolute dregs of a job if she is going to survive – working as an assistant to a guy deemed a ‘crazy mad scientist’ type.
The entire first volume is about a) Elliot screwing up jobs or b) traveling to the new job. We only get up to the point where Elliot arrives at the lab/mansion – and then the volume abruptly ends. That’s a *lot* of filler page to get through for the two main characters to meet. So yes, really pretty artwork that conveys Elliot’s quirkiness perfectly. But pacing is glacial and the story greatly overwritten.
At the back of the volume is a lot of filler as well. By my count, nearly 1/4 is various artwork and concepts for the series. It pads the volume out but doesn’t necessarily provide for a satiating read.
The story reminds me greatly of Japanese josei manga – graphic novels meant for women. There are so few of these from Western authors that I’m already inclined to see where author Sejic takes this in volume 2. But yes, I will hope for a lot more from the second volume – most especially, for the story to actually kick in. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.