Blood, guts and all things horror. Live Stock takes the darkest parts of your mind and brings them to life. Working like a nightmare this comic book explores several things from the dark and grotesque to the strange and bizzare. It is something that will fester in your mind in both an intellectual and haunting way.

This is one book you may not want to read in the dark.

The story follows Danea, a timid girl who gets dragged to a new nightclub by her best friends. While, there she meets a man named Mark. They hit it off and the night seems to be going well, but little do they know they are nothing more than pawns in a game of survival ran by 5 psychopaths. Now, Mark and Danea must fight for their lives to escape from the hellish nightclub.

Live Stock is similar to The Collection (2012) in plot, but brings more depth to the concept. It aims to be more than a quick vignette of blood splattered pages and instead gives its readers a philosophically charged tale of horrific proportions. And, for the most part it works. I’ll admit. there are occasionally a few stumbles and at times I found myself confused, but none of that takes away from the quality of the work. In fact, I think many of those moments can be justified.

Writer, Riley Schmitz created this book based off a dream he had back in 2013. His goal was to bring said dream to life and he did just that. The entire book works like a nightmare. It starts in one place and meanders around in different directions trying to reach the end. It’s ambiguous and completely vague. As you’re reading you find yourself in a muddled daze trying to figure out if whats going on is apart of the characters reality or just nightmarish hallucinations that only dreams can conjure. There are obscure asides and odd moments that just don’t feel right. As of now, this book is a perfect embodiment of what a dream is.

This dreamlike feel that the book aims to showcase wouldn’t be complete without it’s bizarre and sometimes off-putting art work. The characters are morphed and the world feels hazy and choppy. The colors are vibrant, deep, and singular. Drawn out by Riley himself he realistically emulates the dream world through his art.

One fault that I found was within the dialogue. There were times where some of it felt unnecessary or redundant, and in several cases it would take away from the story rather than helping it progress further. The problem here was that there were too many times where the dialogue was nothing more than prolonged conversation. Which in most cases doesn’t work. In comics dialogue should only be used to help express a characters emotions, thoughts, and feelings or to unveil necessary plot points. In fact, dialogue should be used as little as possible, but that’s a whole other conversation of it’s own.

Live Stock is a promising independent comic that aims to draw you into its nightmarish world with no intention of letting go. Despite its issue with dialogue, this book is a solid tale that I believe any horror fan would appreciate. Let the slaughter begin.

5 psychopaths run a nightclub that is filled with deadly traps and vicious killers that will slaughter anyone in their path. Danea and Mark need to find a way to escape from this hellish club before their fates are met.