Thursday, May 31, 2012

American Vampire: Volume 1

by Scott Snyder and Stephen King (story) and Rafael Albuquerque (art), 193 pages

Skinner Sweet's a vampire, but he's not a sparkly pretty boy or a brooding aristocrat--he's a murdering bandit on America's frontier who happens to get turned on his way to trial.  Flash forward a few decades to the roaring twenties as Pearl Jones, an aspiring young actress, finds herself on the menu at an elite Hollywood party after ignoring the warning of her scruffy, obnoxious new neighbor.  As the narrative weaves back and forth in history we see how these stories converge and part and then slash their way forward.

I like the idea of making vampires scary again, but this is a little gruesome and hokey for my taste and not quite as original as it seems to think it is if you break it down.  The art's ok but I am not a fan of all-out horror and this is definitely more than just tinged.  I don't know if I'll read the next one or not.  If you're a Stephen King fan, you'll probably like this, though (I failed to notice his name on it till I sat down to read it--so observant, am I).  Skinner is an interesting amoral anti-hero / mentor and it's nice to see a female character take physical and emotional charge of her own situation (though she still manages to be a damsel in distress, which is less cool).  Not my cup of tea, this, but your more-monstrous-than-moody vampire mileage may vary.

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