After kicking off AfterShock Comics’ ‘One-Shock’ prestige format with Piecemeal, Cullen Bunn is back, this time with Dalibor Talajić, to bring Eden, a horror romance set in a tattoo shop.
Tattoo artist Niles lost his wife and son in a horrific accident a couple years ago. Since then, he’s been mostly phoning it in, living life in a daze. That changes when a new client, Eden, walks through the doors of the shop with some very strange requests. She’s a woman surrounded by mystery, not the least of which is how and why her tattoos vanish after a few days. As Niles gets closer to Eden, he’s driven to depths of love and horror.
Bunn’s script is creepy as hell, and dives into loss and pain and atonement. The twist at the end is something else. You definitely think the thing’s going one way, and it gets all crossed up there in the bottom of the ninth. The sacrifice is real, but it is not the one you’re expecting.
Talajić nails the tattoo shop aesthetic. Flash on the walls, open travel cases full of ink on the counter, samurai swords and skulls on stands. The other artists are also a pretty good cross section of what you’ll find in most shops.
There are a couple spots where all the tattoo artists are all just stood around, shooting the (breeze), and I’ve got to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. Tattoo artists are always busy. Conversations are across rooms, with a tattoo machine, a sketch pad, a razor, or a stencil in hand. Super minor, though, and probably done for space issues. I would really hate to see these same conversations taking place with floating heads, so I’ll take it. We’ll pretend tattoo artists have a bunch of spare time, all at once, to chat in the shop.
If I had a complaint, it’s that Eden is only fifty pages, and I’m not sure that’s even fair. Cullen Bunn came out swinging with Piecemeal, and Eden is every bit as good. The story gets told, within the given framework, and it’s a complete story. Could it have gone fifty more pages? Absolutely. But it honestly didn’t need it to get the point across. It flows really, really well. This is probably just me wishing I could spend more time in this world. Or more time in a tattoo shop. It’s been a long time, y’all.
Eden #1, AfterShock Comics, 05 May 2021. Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Dalibor Talajić, color by Valentina Briski, letters by Marshall Dillon.
Cullen Bunn came out swinging in this ‘One-Shock’ format with Piecemeal. Eden proves that first success was no fluke. Creepy as hell. Loss and pain, betrayal and atonement. Also tattoos.