In a 1930s Illinois, we enter the life of Daniel Groth, an unfortunate and timid man that was recently forced to become a gravedigger to pay the bills. He has been secretly in love with his best and only true friend, Christine, since he met her years ago.
However, Daniel suddenly seems to vanish off the face of the Earth one day, and isn’t heard from again for quite some time. Until late one night, when Christine gets a single knock on her door. Daniel has returned to his beloved, but as an unnerving shadow of his former self. Witness an extremely tense downward spiral as the truth behind Daniel’s new, highly bloodthirsty nature is slowly revealed.
Daniel is definitely a horror story. There are some very graphic scenes in this comic and I would not recommend it for people who are unsettled by violence easily.
That being said, I freaking loved it. SarahN creates a vintage horror film vibe by using a greyscale instead of just black and white or colour. This creates a beautiful contrast between shades and works well to depict that thrill that occurs with each new page.
SarahN quickly introduces the main characters, each of which have very distinct personalities (in the beginning…) and a very quirky vibe. Lovely personality choices. SarahN even manages to throw in some humour in the first couple of chapters.
Along with the personalities, she is quickly able to incorporate emotional expressions for her characters which have a clear depiction of what they are feeling –which has a great affect, especially for a story shaped by a horror theme.
Daniel continues to impress as the story goes along. The main character has a huge change, and you watch it occur over the course of multiple chapters. The character development is so well done, you are eager to continue reading to see what he will do next. The anticipation in what you think you know will happen is awesome.
Unfortunately, this character development is pretty straight forward. You know what is going to happen, you just don’t know when. So yes, the story is kind of predictable, but SarahN makes up for that by offering an unpredictability in when that moment will occur.
That unpredictability is mainly due to the script. Daniel has a sort of ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it. There is something in the script that prevents you from being able to stop reading, even though at first glance some of the pages seem to be clustered with speech bubbles. The amount of reading didn’t feel like too overwhelming. I’m going to amount it down to good writing skills.
As for the art, as mentioned earlier, the greyscale is a beautiful representation for horror, and the simplistic character designs is very appealing to the eye. The colours are soft, and your gaze glides over the images with ease. There are a few areas in which some proportions are off, but for the most part it does not distract from the rest of the artwork.
SarahN uses some nice vantage points to get a feel of who the characters are and their personalities.
The simple character designs are also seen in the backgrounds, but that doesn’t deter you from the beauty in its simplicity.
SarahN has created this horror story with such success, that it is actually terrifying at some points. The unpredictability of the predictable mashed with the gruesome outcomes is a perfect fit for Daniel and by the time I had caught up with the updates (I had been forced to stop on a climax), I had a real adrenaline rush. The frustration of having to wait for the next update was real.
I can confidently say that Daniel is a comic I will be continually await updates. Depending on how far SarahN continues with Daniel’s storyline, there could be a very large twist that I am sincerely hoping for. If a twist exists, then Daniel may not be as predictable as I once thought.
SarahN and her terribly talented artwork here can be found at these locations:
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