The other day, I picked up volume one of Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a comic adaptation of Amirpour’s 2014 film of the same title. Although I couldn’t find anything official to indicate how many single issues are enclosed in this trade collection, it appears to be only the first two – “Death is the Answer” and “Who Am I”.
The film, which is in Persian, is touted as “the first Iranian vampire Western,” and follows the doings of a character known only as The Girl, who is a young-looking female vampire inhabiting the seedy town of Bad City, Iran, where she kills and drinks the blood of men who abuse women.
The comic, published by Behemoth, takes place prior to The Girl’s arrival in Bad Town. It is a dark and heady brew intended for mature audiences only. Michael DeWeese’s black and white artwork reflects the black and white cinematography of the film and sets a slightly sinister tone for the comic. DeWeese’s use of negative space is fantastic, and his art has a beautiful, detailed style to it. Although it would be easy to compare it to Frank Miller’s Sin City, the artwork in A Girl Walks Home feels softer and more intimate.
The first half of this trade outlines The Girls’s basic philosophy and details her deep desire to take life, describing how doing so is her sole purpose in existence. Although this is an idea that’s been expressed in other vampire tales (30 Days of Night comes to mind), what I appreciate about The Girl is that she isn’t simply a mindless killer. We see that she targets those who are the bottom of the barrel, the scum that walk the streets at night with only the worst of intentions. I believe that the irony found in their deaths coming from a lone, small female is entirely intentional, especially as she rides off into the night on a skateboard.
The second half gives us a little bit of a backstory for The Girl. It describes how she went out into the desert with the intention of “meeting the sun” as she struggled with who and what she was. Yet, every night she buried herself deep in the sand and hid from the sun that would kill her. After fifteen years of this, only just barely surviving on the meager blood of scavenged scorpions, she finally drags herself free of the desert in search of “a place that reeks of death and loneliness,” a place where she will fit in. It is then that The Girl finds herself at Bad City, and that is where her tale will really begin.
The art and the overall story of A Girl Walks Home are spellbinding. The artwork and the lettering lend themselves perfectly to the overall feel of the story. As soon as I opened the front cover, I was hooked and wanting to know more about this strange, lonely vampire girl.
The only negative I can say about the comic is that there simply aren’t enough words on the page. I consumed the entire thing in less than ten minutes, probably closer to five minutes if I’m honest, and I’m not even a particularly fast reader. If you are looking for a lengthy read, this simply isn’t it. However, if you are looking to sink your teeth into some compelling artwork that pulls you into the story despite the minimalist writing, this is the comic for you.
It’s also worth noting that, despite my best internet sleuthing, I couldn’t determine when or if another issue was going to be released. Personally, I’m hoping that there’s more coming.