Ro Meadows, an artist with creative block, rents a haunted house. She may not find inspiration here, but what will she discover? Find out in The Me You Love in the Dark #1 from Image Comics!
THE ME YOU LOVE IN THE DARK #1
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Editor: Joel Enos and Kent Wagenschutz
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 4, 2021
Previously in The Me You Love in the Dark: Ro Meadows is an artist who has made it and can make a living with her art. Her work is popular enough that there is a gallery dedicated to it. All she needs to do is do her next big thing. The problem? When she sits down to create, inspiration does not strike.
THE HOUSE THEY SAY IS HAUNTED
The Me You Love in the Dark #1 opens when a realtor takes Ro Meadows to a house that’s available to rent. People say it is haunted, and the realtor takes one look at the large, rambling place and decides it’s way too much upkeep for a painter who wants to focus on her work. But Ro insists it’s just what she’s looking for.
We don’t immediately know why, but it soon becomes apparent. Weeks later, Ro is still surrounded by unpacked boxes and unhung paintings. She uncorks a bottle of wine, grabs a glass, puts on a record, and asks the supposed resident ghost why it doesn’t make itself useful. She goes to her studio, and we see the problem. A canvas sits in the evening light, blank. Ro brings a pencil up to it like a fencer preparing for a match. The blank canvas wins. More wine is consumed. No art happens. Anyone who has done creative pursuits recognizes this paralysis.
Ro berates the ghost for not even starting her music and pouring her wine if it can’t give her some inspiration. It is supposed to be a haunted house, isn’t it? Chasing a muse can indeed be futile.
More fruitless weeks pass. One evening, Ro hears her music playing. She goes into the studio, and there is a glass of wine. She wonders if she has been drinking too much. She thought she had cleaned up. Then her phone rings. It’s Atti, at the gallery, and he calls to find out how she’s doing and to give her a not so gentle nudge that if she doesn’t want to go back to being a barista, she needs to get to work.
She buckles down and starts drawing. Then she takes a look at her work and throws her wine at it in frustration. She is so frustrated that she throws more things around her studio. Once her energy is expended, she talks out loud, ruefully realizing that she has basically just had a giant tantrum. She verbalizes the doubts that she has been suppressing – should she give it up? Is she really an artist?
A voice tells her she should not give up. Ro runs outside, despite the rain. Maybe she needs to get out more. Maybe she needs to cut back on the wine a little. But when she goes back inside, her studio has been tidied up and a fresh canvas on her easel has “I’m sorry,” written on it.
AN ARTIST TRIES TO FIND HERSELF
I love the house in The Me You Love in the Dark #1. There may be a ghost in it, but in this opening chapter the house is essentially a character. From the outside it looks like a classic haunted house – a two-story Victorian with a turret and plainly an attic, wrapped with a huge porch, a misfit in its neighborhood. We see hints of the inside, lots of woodwork, tall ceilings, huge built-in shelves. But our jaws drop in the studio and the floor to ceiling windows with diamond panes. We only see the sky outside, but what varied, brilliant colors, as if to say, “How can you not be inspired here?”
The wine and music come back around when the ghost makes its presence known, and this is lovely. The music is represented by an undulating ribbon of white with some dark bars cutting part way across it, suggestive of a piano keyboard. It isn’t in every panel but is used sparingly to add some space to what we see of the house. Later, when Ro hears her music playing, she follows the thread of music through rooms until she gets to the studio. I like it because it’s a subtle way to suggest music that just happens to fit a ghostly theme.
BOTTOM LINE: ON THE CUSP OF THE SUPERNATURAL
The Me You Love in the Dark #1 is a compelling opening. I love the concept of an artist with a creative block finding something entirely unexpected. The book already has a modern gothic feel and I am looking forward to see where it goes next.
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The Me You Love In The Dark #1
Ro Meadows is trying to recover her creativity but finds more than she bargained for.