Arts and Culture
9:55 am
Wed May 15, 2013

'New Age Noir' Comic Book Stepping Out of the Shadows

Karen Davidson and Morgan Coy on “Shadow Healer”

A new kind of comic book launches today in Austin.

Scripted by Austinites Karen Davidson and Morgan Coy, with Polish artist Chris Chalik, “Shadow Healer” is the first segment of a graphic novel in four parts

Karen Davidson refers to the story as “Texas New Age Noir.” “It’s just so apt,” she says. “In terms of genre, it doesn’t fit neatly into one, just as Austin doesn’t fit into any sort of mold.  There was always this dark underbelly. The story is based on people we have known and met in Austin.“

The book design complements the dark theme. Visuals are mostly black and white, with spots of color. “Thematically, it works,” says Morgan Coy. “I mean the fact that we’re dealing with this concept of shadows and this noir story works in black and white. But then, when we add these elements of the supernatural or the unknown to be able to throw in color there is fun, and it work.”

Why a graphic novel instead of a book to tell the story of a group of twenty-somethings’ malaise? And why Austin?

“I think that the graphic novel is wide open right now,” Coy says. “Maybe because it’s something hard to do on iPads or Kindles. They’re getting close, but it’s still something that people want to hold – where books are kind of fading away.”

As for the theme of malaise? “Well, it’s an Austin story,” Coy adds. “While it’s changing, there’s still a slacker mentality. I hate to say it, but it’s true."

The book launch for “Shadow Healer #1” takes place at 7 p.m. tonight at Farewell Books, 913 E. Cesar Chavez.