“Black Sand Beach Issue 3: Have You Seen The Darkness?” – Review

Black Sand Beach Issue 3 review
Black Sand Beach Issue 3: Have You Seen The Darkness? (Image courtesy of Pixel+Ink)

Black Sand Beach issue 3 ‘Have You Seen The Darkness?’ by author Richard Fairgray features a very creepy flashback and things growing worse for our main group in the present.

I was provided with a free digital copy of Black Sand Beach issue 3 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Spoiler Warning: I have tried to keep spoilers to a minimum.

I wanted to read issue 3 the moment I finished Black Sand Beach issue 2 back in May of 2021. I had a lot of questions, and ‘Have You Seen The Darkness?’ answered a bunch of them while raising the stakes higher.

The story jumped between two timelines. We got a flashback from 1994, showing us what happened to Kasey and Mabel all those years ago. In the present, we got Dash and his crew trying to survive the relentless shape-shifting monster.

While, in my opinion, new readers could jump right into the previous issue without having read the debut, the same can’t be said for the third chapter in this graphic novel series. Fairgray did give us a recap in the latest chapter, but still, I recommend you at least read issue 2, ‘Do You Remember The Summer Before?’, to really understand what’s happening and why it all matters. (You can read my review of issue 2 here).

As usual with Fairgray’s writing style, there’s a lot of emphasis on hitting the right pace and making the reader anticipate the horrors to come. This is particularly evident during the flashback sequence. Due to their unfortunate status in the present, I already knew something bad was sure to happen to Kasey and Mabel when they arrived at Black Sand Beach with their monster-hunting father Joseph. Fairgray kept my attention as he worked on revealing ‘how’ a particular tragedy befell the two sisters.

The flashback also answered who placed the silver trees and trapped the shape-shifter (nicknamed Doug) in the first place. The introduction of a certain character in the flashback made me feel the absence of a particular child in the present. I really hope said kid appears in the upcoming issue.

Coming to Dash and his crew trying to survive Doug, I liked seeing the children trying to figure out how Doug managed to escape imprisonment. And with Doug obsessed with eating Dash, I really enjoyed seeing how Dash and the rest decided it was time to fight back. Yes, to Lily and Andy creating some cool-looking weapons! Even though I’m an adult, I found myself wanting those wearables!

The information in the flashback and the present worked together to help readers learn more about Doug. I wasn’t expecting Fairgray to make me feel sorry for such a dangerous shape-shifting monster. I mean, I would have still tried to find a way to kill it, but the fact I even found myself kind of sympathizing with Doug was very surprising. Such manipulation of my emotions goes to show Farigray’s mastery of his craft when constructing monsters. 

From what I could tell, a big moment in the current chapter was Dash’s decision concerning the darkness and a way to save his team. While I got what Eleanor was saying, I had to agree with Dash. The supernatural darkness featured in this Black Sand Beach wasn’t a joke. However, when push came to shove, Dash had to rescue his friends and his decision came at a cost. I’m here for stories that make the good guys suffer some kind of loss. It helps makes the final victory feel more impactful.

All in all, Black Sand Beach issue 3 offered another spooky tale, with a sprinkle of humor and unique art style, from Fairgray. And just like before, I can’t wait to read the fourth chapter. I want to see Dash and his friends win. And I also want to see Dash finally mending his relationship with his stepmother.

Black Sand Beach issue 3 ‘Have You Seen The Darkness?’ is currently available wherever books are sold.

I highly recommend you start reading this series, especially if you have horror-loving kids around.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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