Rating: 3 out of 5.

A graphic novel about a woman serial-killer? That’s not something I come across too often, so I didn’t think twice before reading “A Taste for Blood”, a graphic novel by Debuhme, about how Aldo, a mobster fresh out of jail strikes an unlikely friendship with farm-woman Lou. Turns out, Lou is a hot-headed serial killer in the making, while Aldo is much mild-mannered than one would imagine him to be. Aldo almost ends up being murdered by Lou, however, the two unite to take on the local mafia.

The graphic novel is in color, and the illustrations have a caricature-like style, reminiscent of older newspaper editorial cartoons. While I wasn’t a big fan of the artwork, the drawings complement the subtle dark humor and themes of the story. The exaggerated features and expressions add a layer of satire that enhances the overall tone of the narrative. Debuhme keeps playing with the color schemes of different chapters, making several sections look very different from the others.

“A Taste for Blood” is fast-paced, unfolding like a comedy-of-errors, and carrying an old-school charm in its storytelling. Despite the title suggesting a more intense theme of blood, death, and violence, the plot doesn’t fully live up to these expectations. With the book being only 120 pages long, the characters, Lou and Aldo, don’t receive extensive development. Regardless, the personality clash between Lou and Aldo stands out as the high point of this fictional work, subverting gender stereotypes. Aldo, despite being a member of a mafia gang, is portrayed as a gentle soul who wouldn’t hurt a fly, while Lou is depicted as a bloodthirsty and angsty woman who would kill without a second thought. This dynamic helps drive the story forward. Aldo’s past is briefly explained through a small flashback, and there’s an intriguing backstory about how he ended up in jail, adding a good twist to the tale.

For graphic novel enthusiasts who enjoy crime fiction and are intrigued by titles featuring female killers as leads, “A Taste for Blood” offers a decent one-time read.

Rating: 3 on 5

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