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American Vampire

1 rating: 4.0
An ongoing mature Vertigo DC Comics series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia American Vampire    Cover of American Vampire #1. Publication information Publisher Vertigo Schedule Monthly Format Ongoing series Genre Vampires in comics Publication date March 2010 Number of issues … see full wiki

1 review about American Vampire

Vampires Done Right - No Sparkles Allowed

  • Jul 6, 2011
  • by
Rating:
+4
It seems like vampires are everywhere lately, but so many of them seem to be defanged and pale shadows of the creatures of the night I grew up with. They sparkle and the whine and they philosophize - BORing!

Which is why, when I heard Stephen King was taking part in a new comic book series about vampires, I got just a little excited. And then I saw a poster and I got even more jazzed. Stark, compelling images, and is that blood?

Yes - yes it was.  And as it turns out, quite a lot of it too.

The first five issues of American Vampire hit the ground running, telling two stories in parallel, one about the American Frontier, the other about a young actress in the Roaring Twenties.  Our introduction to the idea of the new strain of vampire - different from his (or her) European cousins and with new abilities to match the American roots - comes from Pearl and from the unforgettable Skinner Sweet, as bloodthirsty a character as you could ever hope for in a vampire story.  The Master himself pens one of these tales, with the other in the capable hands of Scott Snyder, with the amazingly talented Rafael Albuquerque supplying the art for both.

This last part shocked me at first, as I was reasonably sure that a different artist was working on each of the two story arcs until I checked.  Albuquerque has the chameleon's gift of being able to shift his style subtly to suit the time period, the character, and the general feel of the tale.  His style is effective, dramatic and moody, not overly splashy, subtle and clever.  With each issue I'm impressed again with his ability to capture in broad strokes what many fail to do with the finest of detail.

And is it scary? You bet your buckets of blood it is.  No sparkling here - the vampires of American Vampire are horrific and vicious, all fangs and claws and bloodlust and harsh angles, just the way they should be.

Though King drops off after the first five issues (now collected in a hardbound edition), Scott Snyder keeps the story moving right along without missing a beat as the characters move through American history.  The current story arc (I just read issue 16 a couple days ago) has them involved in World War II and discovering still another strain of vampire deep underground in Japanese soil.  There's also a spinoff miniseries - "Survival of the Fittest" - which is just getting started and looking good already.

American Vampire is scary and sexy and original and well-crafted.  It's one of the best comics I've read in quite some time, and it's consistently one I'm excited to read every month.

Sink your teeth in.  You won't be disappointed.

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