The Me You Love in The Dark: A Strange but Alluring Story
Of all of the series out there, I decided to review The Me You Love in the Dark for one reason. I absolutely love the Izzy's Comics Exclusive cover done by Monika Palosz. (Get a copy here) Simply put.
Well, that and the fact that Izzy made it sound like a really enticing story. Paint, wine, lonely dark house...
The Me You Love in the Dark by Skottie Young
I don't know much about comics (but I'm learning!) but when I think of Skottie Young, I think of baby superheroes. Am I the only one?
So when Izzy told me who wrote this, I was a bit intrigued. I thought to myself, "Let's see how he can go from drawing baby Thanos coming to take over the world (brilliant, by the way) to writing an engaging horror story." (Of course, I wasn't aware of Skottie Young's extensive resume at the time. Don't judge me.)
Once I started reading, I realized how much I actually relate to the main character, Ro.
Burnt Out? Check!
Artist? KIND OF
Trying to find myself? CHECK
Always having a glass of wine within arms reach? CHECK
Having sex with monsters? Um... well, there was this one time.....
Let's Dig In!
So, I sat down with a bowl of popcorn and bottle of wine and decided to get to it.
Let me just say, the art is amazing in this. The story started off a little slow for me, with Ro finding the perfect house in the middle of nowhere to find her artistic passion again. However, by the end of Chapter 1 I was left hanging on- hoping to see a glimpse of this "ghost".
As I read a little further, it became clear this wasn't just any ghost. I would say this is a monster. Or a demon. But definitely not a ghost.
As Ro starts engaging with this "thing", they form a mutually beneficial bond. She is inspired by him and paint starts flying. Before she knows it, canvases are filled with her perception of her new friend. As for the "thing", he gets the companionship that he has obviously been longing for.
Very Nora Roberts-ish.
Then "it" happens. Y'all. She has sex with this monster. I DID NOT see that coming. I mean, they were very modest about it... but you knew. You KNEW.
I could see if he took on the form of a human, like, say...Ryan Reynolds. But nope. He is vile. And scary. Maybe some chicks like that? Anyhow...
All Hell Breaks Loose
It doesn't take long after that for this to go from a horror/romance to a blueprint for domestic abuse. I can see how this series might trigger terrible memories for anyone who has gone through the horror of an abusive relationship. So be warned!
And maybe that was the purpose of this series. Maybe people should look at Ro and see how she got sucked in to the promise of "finding herself" and having a partner who encourages her to express herself and grow her talent, then when he gets her right where he wants her he becomes an abusive asshole. But don't worry... she can handle herself.
Cue the Emotions (major spoiler)
I hate that we lost what seems like a great character in this story. Ro's agent and friend, Atti, keeps checking in on her to see if she has gotten her groove back so they can stock their next art show. Eventually he gets tired of trying to reach her and decides to pay her a little visit.
Mr. Monster is not happy about this. And this is the breaking point for Ro. He kills her buddy and she realizes she's got nothing else to lose.
So she takes him out....or does she??
I won't spill all the details on that, because you should read it for yourself!
Questions I'm left asking
As much as I enjoyed this story, there were a couple things I was left thinking about. Which might be a genius strategy by Skottie Young to keep his story in my head long after I finished reading it.
1. What's the backstory on this demon? Why is he stuck in this house? I would have liked to see some flashbacks to the beginning and how he became what he is.
Edit: after thinking about the ending some more, I may have actually answered my own question. Let me know if you think you figured it out!
2. How the hell is Ro going to explain the dead body of her buddy in the house once all is said and done? I'm afraid she set herself up for a lifetime in the slammer.
3. What kind of wine was she drinking? I'm a merlot girl myself so I'm just curious.
Do I recommend this read?
Definitely! It was fun, a little spooky, and definitely got me thinking! It was a quick read since I had the trade paperback. If I was reading this series in real time, I definitely would have been waiting anxiously for the next issue to come out.
So go grab yourself some popcorn and some wine, and snuggle up for a good read!