In a world where vampires are being portrayed as adorable glittering objects of prepubescent lust, thank Bram Stoker for Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King bringing us 'American Vampire.'
I realise I've talked about comics in the last four outings of 'Good Stuff,' and in the time I have to now add another post I had intended to talk about some of the awe inspiring TV shows that are currently hitting our screens BUT that can wait for a little talk about 'American Vampire'. I mentioned Scott Snyder in my post on DC's New 52 and my love for him as a creator has grown rapidly since then. After discovering him through Batman I decided to check out some of his other work and that lead me to 'American Vampire' Volume 1 and wow, I really enjoyed it. Scott Snyder is definitely now on my list of the top writers in comics.
Snyder has penned a story about the first vampire concieved (that sounds wierd, created maybe?) on American soil, Skinner Sweet, and he's different to the pasty, night dwelling vampires of Europe. For one, he can walk in the light and is even powered by the sun. Second, he'd like nothing more than to see the vampires that made him bite the dust. Skinner transforms a young actress Pearl Jones, who was preyed on by the Euro-vamps, into another American Vampire. The best thing about Snyder's story though is that even with this unique idea of American vampries he does bring the soul (yes, I get the irony of this) of a true vampire story. Vampires are scary as shit and they want to eat your face off and drink every pint of blood in your skinny human veins, just the way they should be.
It's also great to see horror legend Stephen King dipping his toe into comics. He pens the origin story of Skinner Sweet and tells his story over the first few issues while Snyder writes the Pearl story. The best thing, apart from having Stephen King in comics, is that King and Snyder's stories work phenomenally well together and Snyder certainly holds his own next to the horror legend.
Finally the art is spectacular. Rafael Albuquerque shows his versatility by illustrating Snyder and King's stories in different styles, cleaner lines for Pearl's story set in the 1920s and sketchier lines with some gritty ink wash for Skinner's story from the 1880s. All in all, art that perfectly complements both Snyder and Skinner's stories. No, not just compliments, it does what all great comic art does and pushes the book to a whole new level.
In a genre that is totally saturated, 'American Vampire' pulls itself above the other vampire stories out there and sets itself apart as truly 'Good Stuff'.
And yes, it's better than 'True Blood.' Not as much boob though.