Review by Ian Keogh
Linda Sejic is an amazingly expressive artist who also has a great talent for writing comedy drama dialogue. Jealous fellow creators might take comfort in her having the weakness of only being able to progress a story extremely slowly. Elly is trying out for the post of assistant to the eccentric Dr Vlad Stein, a man so caught up in his vague scientific research that he constantly walks about his creepy mansion in a blood stained lab coat. That fairly well catches everyone up on what’s happened in Volume One and Volume Two, and you could start Blood Stain with this volume and receive the full dose of charm without really missing out on anything other than a lot of nice art.
Volume Three does inject some pace, starting with Vlad’s day for lecturing at the university. In his usual chaotic manner he’s incredibly late and doesn’t need Elly along, so she’s left with cook Serge and a few minor practicalities are ironed out. In terms of character reactions, it’s much the same as before, but at a higher level and with greater consequences, and this time we’re privy to Serge telling Vlad a few realities of life. As before, Sejic delivers a masterful conversation, not just in terms of snappy, almost realistic dialogue, but in the way she poses the characters while they’re talking, those poses delivering an emotional undercurrent. The comedy revelations this time are of a higher quality also. Manic behaviour and self-reflective concerns only take us so far.
Unfortunately, this book closes without any bonus material, but the notification that the cast has now been properly introduced, and two further trilogies are intended to tell a complete story. However, since 2017 there has been no sign of any continuation while Sejic has concentrated on other projects.