“Till Death” a gory Valentine’s Day card

book cover - till deathThe upcoming release of Till Death… A Guide to Love and Loss is sure to be a big deal for fans of New Years Day and its frontwoman, Ash Costello, as well as Kriz DK of the Genitorturers and Deadstar Assembly. It’s a wonderfully shot series of photographs by Jeremy Saffer, and the concept is that it “shows what it might be like to date a Gothic matriarch, like Morticia, Elvira, Lily, etc. prior to them meeting their Gomez or Herman.”

It’s a 70-page, full-color hardcover, with the images within hewing to “Addams/Tales From The Crypt” sense of humor. Essentially, that means some very cheesy (cheap Valentine’s Day level, really) visual puns, coupled with some excruciatingly gory imagery.

Till Death is a well-shot book. This photographs are an exercise in contrast. With so much of the coloring variants on the mortician’s pallett — grays, blacks, charcoal, etc. — accentuated only with Costello’s hair and lipstick or Kriz’s “blood,” these pictures could easily have been washed-out messes. Instead, the images are vibrant and nuanced, allowing even the tiniest details to come through.
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Sadly, the jokes and posing are nowhere up to the level set by Saffer’s pictures. The jokes are hokey: “He’s crazy for me!” while Kriz is trying to get out of a straight jacket; “I only have eyes for you” while Costello pulls Kriz’s eye out … the makeup is astonishing. Were it not so well-lit, Till Death could almost function as a full-color version of Death Scenes with its commitment to viscera.

Still — the jokes are terrible, the poses Costello strikes are a little Facebook at times, and it’s just … unsubtle. The whole thing is far too wink-wink-elbow-in-the-ribs to be really clever, and these are the sorts of things which will be lucky to get more than a subtle smirk. While it’s a nice thing to look at, the price tag ensures the only people picking this up will have more money than taste. You can, if so inclined, purchase the book from Saffer’s webstore, with an astonishing array of pre-order options ranging from prints to autographs.