After more than a year since its release in English, on 9 May 2019 the first of four volumes dedicated to Bloodborne, Entitled The Sleep of Death, published by Editoriale Cosmo for the Cosmo Fantasy series.
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The emptiness of Hidetaka Miyazaki and Fumito Ueda
Transposing any FromSoftware title onto paper is certainly not easy, but unlike Dark Souls, where silence reigns supreme and the dialogues are almost whispered, Bloodborne lends itself more to the balloons of the ninth art. From crazed citizens to bloodthirsty hunters, everyone has something to communicate to our hunter, be it delusional insults or helpful advice.
But seeing the nameless protagonist of The Sleep of Death think and talk like a normal cartoon character has a strange effect, accustomed as we are to impersonating a cold and detached butcher of wild beasts. This sensation is then accentuated by a reference to the almost total videogame character: a blood-soaked cleaver, a long old rifle, the classic hunter's outfit. Iconic clothing is all there.
The references to the video game, however, are by no means finished here. The Sleep of Death is set in same game hunting night, even if the events and the succession of events are completely different. A choice that on the one hand allows you to wink at the fans of the game, but which on the other hand represents a missed opportunity to analyze narrative strands only partially covered in the playful work. See Byrgenwerth or the Vilesangue.
Madness, the backbone of the original work, seen through the thoughts of the protagonist.
We understand from the first pages that we are here too within the hunter's dream, a cycle of hunting and slaughter that is destined to repeat itself for eternity. Only the finding of the bloodstain can wake the protagonist from his nightmare and thus transcend the hunt.
While reading we find many gods iconic characters of Bloodborne and we are amazed to discover that they are not completely insane as we thought. We meet a Djura no longer alone, but the head of a Powder Keg coven who fights to defend citizens transformed into beasts. We find Iosefka, who tries in every way to defend his patients from the plague of beasts. And finally, of course, Gherman and the Automa, who enigmatically guide the protagonist on his journey through places well known to us.
Old Yharnam, Forbidden Woods, Iosefka Clinic and the City of Fishermen are the dark landscapes that form the backdrop to a crazy and violent tale, masterfully painted by the designer Piotr Kowalski.
The drawing was perhaps one of the most delicate aspects, reproducing on paper the sublime environment of Bloodborne represented the tip of the balance on the success of the entire work. Fortunately, the Polish artist proved to be up to it. Inspired by the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, Kowalski manages to carefully paint the dark settings of the game through a meticulous stroke in the details, strongly marking the outlines with black, but which does not purposely reach realism, giving horror and desolation to his tables.
Superb work also by the colorist Brad Simpson who decides to use very warm tones during the battles, flooding the cartoon with blood, and very cold tones to paint a dead and inhospitable setting.
The aggression and speed shines through in every vignette and the confrontation is never confusing.
Finally, Ales Kot's script is clear and well organized. The story of a journey through the horrors of Bloodborne, deliberately quotationist, to escape from that cosmogonic nightmare and thus transcend the hunt. The dialogues are never redundant, even if they sometimes need a second rereading to be fully understood.
On the last page strangely we don't find a real ending. Seeing what has been done with the Dark Souls comics, a self-conclusive number was expected but it is clear that the story cannot end there. The massacre of our hunter is still arduous and long to escape from the nightmare and thus wake up in a radiant morning. Always if he chooses to do so.Verdict 8/10 Hunters, beasts, great beings, madness and blood ... Bloodborne in all its gloom! Comment Bloodborne: The Sleep of Death is a comic that brings fans of the game back into the hunter's dream and allows them to relive the gory moments of the hunt from a new point of view. If on the one hand this allows the author to deepen the personality of the iconic characters of the game, on the other it represents a missed opportunity to deepen narrative strands only partially covered in the game. Pros and cons ✓ Clear script
✓ Fine design
✓ Well represented fights x Dialogues not always understandable
x Unexplored Bloodborne subplots