Blood Volume 1 by Neal Adams (graphic novel review).

I had heard vaguely of Neal Adams’ ‘Blood’ graphic novel and finally picked up a copy. What is startling from the start is its 3D or lenticular lens cover. For those who haven’t come across them or didn’t buy cereal with its free 3D images in the 1960s, what you normally have is a two or three tier photo with background and by tilting it you get either a 3D effect or a moving picture.

Here, Adams has a 1:2 images set against a background. One way, you see Blood facing one way and by rotating the book you have him firing with a top layer projecting a couple hands and an extra face. The eye is fooled into giving it depth. There aren’t many images around like this. Even Marvel Comics 3D images clipped onto their comics in the late 1980s were based on sculptures rather than illustrations and not in full colour.


run your mouse over the picture,

Oddly, the story inside is actually a very basic plot. Lionel Street has been captured by the bad guys and being tortured. His pal, Jorge Maslow, also called Blood, is coming to the rescue, shooting his way through the bad guys. That’s it essentially with a few bits and pieces that would otherwise be spoiler but does explain the hands from the chest on the cover.

Unusually, Adams’ work has a slightly more cartoonish look this time and almost elements akin to Rich Corben. I’m still not sure about the teeth as they tend to look like they had problems getting them inside the jaws. This might be coming from the expressive way Adams draws but they do seem either ill-fit or simian compared to his early work. Looking at his sketchwork on-line, things do seem back to normal, hence the observation comment.

One does have to ask what happens in volume 2 but as this graphic novel was released in 2016, one can only suppose other work has gotten in the way so won’t have a clue as to what happens next.

GF Willmetts

March 2020

(pub: Dark Horse, 2016. 96 page graphic novel. Price: $14.99 (US), £12.50 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-61655-710-2)

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