Set primarily in Los Angeles in 1971, Blood of the Virgin is the story of twenty-seven-year-old Seymour, an Iraqi Jewish immigrant film editor who works for an exploitation film production company. Seymour, his wife, and their new baby struggle as he tries to make it in the movie business, writing screenplays on spec and pining for the chance to direct. When his boss buys one of his scripts for a project called Blood of the Virgin and gives Seymour the chance to direct it, what follows is a surreal, tragicomic making-of journey.
If you’re a fan of cartoonists such as Joe Matt or Seth, and their intense feeling for lonely, hapless men, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here ... Harkham’s portrayal of LA’s seedy, grindhouse scene is pitch-perfect ... It does feel to me like a classic in the making.
Harkham weaves a psychologically complex tale, balancing the bad behavior of Hollywood with an intriguingly pragmatic look at the moviemaking process. Seymour’s passion for film and his conflicted conscience keep us reasonably sympathetic to him as he self-destructs ... Harkham’s text delivers punchy banter and sly sound effects, while his exceptionally expressive art is equal parts comic strip and cinema.