I couldn’t possible explain how excited I am for this series. Violent Love is about an old man telling a story to a young girl who is curious about two criminal’s photos he has up on his wall. He starts telling her the story of Daisy Jane (and Rock Bradley—but this issue is all about Daisy), hence the title, “The Ballad of Daisy Jane.” In this first issue, we learn about Daisy’s past and her most traumatic experiences, like the murder of her father.
To put things in perspective for us in the real world, this is a story based on the true and infamously inspiring (ComicWow! does not condone criminality of any kind) lives of Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were American criminals who traveled the U.S. during the Great Depression. Together, they robbed and killed people across the entire country, fueled by their relationship.
I really like the format of this issue. It is a frame story—a story within a story—that tells us about these love-fueled criminals from an interesting perspective. The law officer telling their story knows, obviously, that crime is wrong. But Daisy and Rock saved his life, so we can tell that he respects these criminals. It’s a great way to look at the lives/deaths of these characters.
The language that Barbiere uses in this issue is smooth and fluid, pushing the story along at a steady and comfortable pace. The language reflects the time periods mentioned, like the “hippy” era, where a classmate, Sadie, calls Daisy “Flower Child.” This issue is one that will grab your attention and never let go.
Victor Santos’ artwork is really expressive while showing characters’ emotions and reactions to big events. Unfortunately, some of the dramatic element of the story is taken away because of the unrealistic artwork. The coloring helps a bit, but not all too much. I feel like the story would benefit from some realism to add a somewhat theatrical aspect to the truth of Bonnie and Clyde. However, the art style does remind us that this story is simply based on that of Bonnie and Clyde, and not a direct recollection of their history.
I’m assuming next issue will be about Rock, so make sure to pick up a copy and learn more about this infamous couple! This series, so far, looks like it might put the criminals in a better light than usual, so this should be a great read. History buffs and crime readers, get your fix with Violent Love!
Written by: Frank J. Barbiere
Illustrated by: Victor Santos