The Comics Pimp – A New BreedGeek Fantasies, Dec 4, 2011
Are you suffering from fang fatigue? Everywhere you look, vampires are taking over all media. On TV, there is True Blood and the Vampire Diaries, and before making its way to the movies, Twilight invaded the bookstores. It’s only natural that Comics are also taking their shot at the ever-popular bloodsuckers.
When I found the first collection of American Vampire at a used bookstore, my expectations weren’t particularly high. I bought the hardcover collection of the first five issues primarily because of Rafael Albuquerque, the Brazilian artist known for his energetic work on DC superheroes. He loves to bathe his figures in thick shadows, and it works perfectly on this series.
The fact that Stephen King wrote part of this book is sure to draw many fans, since this is King’s first comics script. He shares the credit with the creator of American Vampire, Scott Snyder. In flashback sequences, King handles the origins of the titular character, Skinner Sweet; he is a new breed of vampire not only because he is the first American to be turned, but because he also represents a new creature, a vampire who can bask in the sun. Revenge motivates Sweet. He starts a war against the old world vampires who hunt him, enlisting a soldier in this opening salvo. The result is expectantly violent and bloody, but also wildly entertaining.
Snyder writes half of the first five chapters, which are set in 1929 Hollywood. Both Albuquerque and Snyder have done their homework, transporting the reader effortlessly through time. They also highlight the brutality of their bloodsuckers; this is how American Vampire sets itself apart from all the other current, popular, and romanticized versions. Vampires should be ruthless bloodsuckers, and that’s what they are here. American Vampire is gripping and suspenseful, horrific and original; it is deserving of more attention than the plethora of vampire themed entertainment out there. If you haven’t yet overdosed on fang fiction, or if you’re interested in a fresh take, check out American Vampire.