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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Tale of Horror
Volume 1 of American Vampire is set in two time periods - it begins with Scott Snyder's story, set in 1920s. We meet Pearl Jones, a struggling actress hoping to make it big in Hollywood. The unfortunate and naive Pearl is brutally attacked and left for dead, that is, until Skinner Sweat steps in and offers her the chance to wreak vengeance on those that ruined her...
Published on October 9, 2010 by Amanda Jade

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I hope it gets better
Not quite a western, not quite a vampire story, and very little America in it outside of the California around the turn of the century. More gore, sex, and violence would actually be an improvment. Im not talking "the Crossed" level, but just something to spice it up a bit.
Published 11 months ago by Robert Guyer


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Tale of Horror, October 9, 2010
Volume 1 of American Vampire is set in two time periods - it begins with Scott Snyder's story, set in 1920s. We meet Pearl Jones, a struggling actress hoping to make it big in Hollywood. The unfortunate and naive Pearl is brutally attacked and left for dead, that is, until Skinner Sweat steps in and offers her the chance to wreak vengeance on those that ruined her life.

The second half of the tale, told by Stephen King, contains the gruesome origins of the wicked Skinner Sweet. We're taken back to the Wild West in the 1880s, where we learn about Skinner's criminal past as a human and the powerful vampire he later becomes. And this American vampire isn't any ordinary bloodsucker, he's evolved and is bigger and badder than any of the old ones could have imagined.
Artist Rafael Albuquerque captures the two different time periods perfectly. In the first half, the pages are full of old-school Hollywood glam and class. When it came to depicting King's story, Albuquerque was dead on, making the panels grungier and perfectly Western. Same artist, but two unique and flawless styles. His artwork was one thing that impressed me the most.

Overall, American Vampire: Vol. 1 was awesome. You've got a real badass horror story full of deadly and terrorizing vampires, which is exactly what this vampire-flooded world needs nowadays. Horror fans will love the macabre artwork and narrative, and others will simply love the refreshing change in vampire story-telling (you have to admit that the weak and whiny vampires get real old real fast). I definitely recommend this graphic novel to anyone looking for a classic horror story.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Fire Edition, December 16, 2011
By 
Emil (PMV Georgia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Vampire Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
Not going into the how amazing this comic is, plenty of others have done a fantastic job of that already. I just wanted to comment on the high quality of the Kindle Fire Ed. Unlike many of the other "optimized for Fire" editions on Amazon, this one fills the screen with high quality images that even make the large files on comixology look less than crisp.

For the most part I've avoided purchasing any digital comics on Amazon, but if more quality products like this can be released I may spend a little less $ at comixology. Give us the next volumes already!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A", June 20, 2011
Meet Skinner Sweet, the candy-chomping, former Wild West outlaw who traded his six-shooters for fangs and immortality to become antihero of the vampire genre.

Scott Snyder and Stephen King split the storytelling duties in this graphic novel, originally published as the first five issues of the Vertigo series. Artist Rafael Albuquerque adequately captures 1920's LA and 1880's Old West. He delivers a less murky vision of vampires than Ben Templesmith's red-smeared approach in 30 Days of Night. The first dozen pages of American Vampire are deliciously restrained - a buildup that pays off when Albuquerque unleashes vampires in full-page panels.

The story centers on two characters, the aforementioned outlaw Skinner Sweet, and aspiring actress Pearl Jones, who is left for dead in the desert outside Los Angeles in 1925. Both become vampires not by their own choosing but their transformation separates them from the older, European bloodsuckers. Skinner and Pearl's immunity to sunlight is just one of many differences (I don't want to spoil the others).

King's introduction gets to the bloody heart of why American Vampire rises above the undead deluge.

"Here's what vampires shouldn't be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and only work at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes.

What should they be?

Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red, white and blue. Accent on the red."

In summary, I finished this graphic novel and immediately ordered American Vampire Vol. 2. So far, it is a great, gory ride and a welcome antidote to the Twilight plague.

Rating: Five stars.

On a side note, I reviewed Neil Gaiman's The Best American Comics 2010 and can assure you there isn't a single entry in that collection as good a read as Snyder's and King's story here. American Vampire should appear in the 2011 edition; its absence would be evidence enough to shelve that collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film and vampires, June 13, 2010
Six words which will make you want to read this: "Original Stephen King comic. With VAMPIRES."

In actuality, this is a two-part comic -- one part is by King, while the other is by a guy I had never heard of named Scott Snyder. But both halves of "American Vampire #1" are united by a common theme -- vintage Americana is mingled with some gruesome, bloodthirsty vampires, whether it's during the glitzy Roaring Twenties or the dusty Wild West. And it's AWESOME.

Snyder follows a pair of young starlets named Pearl and Hattie, who are working as extras during the early days of cinema. Pearl strikes up a friendship with a hobo who is hanging around their swimming pool -- and who warns her not to go to a party thrown by a film producer. Pearl soon realizes that she should have listened...

King's story goes further back in time to the late 1800s, and shows us the original "American Vampire" -- a bunch of outlaws are holding up a train to free the infamous Skinner Sweet, leading to a devastating crash. But the outlaws have little idea of what is lurking in the wreckage, and what wants some very personal revenge on them.

"American Vampire" is a pretty unique kind of comic book -- two brilliant writers (one famous and one unknown) writing two intertwined story arcs about vampires from long ago. Even better, both King and Snyder manage to do something unique and special with the vampire mythos that doesn't involve pale, wangsty aristocrats.

And while the stories are closely connected, King and Snyder have very distinct styles. King's is faster, brasher and earthier, adding sudden splatters of horror to a seemingly simple Wild West story; Snyder's is a slower, more refined story that only hints at the horrors lurking nearby, until the last few pages. And there's a clever undercurrent to his story -- predatory Hollywood bloodsuckers as REAL bloodsuckers? Not bad.

Snyder also has a knack for creating likable characters -- Pearl is a thoroughly likable protagonist, a strong young lady with dreams of fame who still suffers from doubts and homesickness. King's characters are less endearing, but no less vibrant -- his depiction of Skinner is of a ruthless, grinning cowboy covered in dust and stubble.

And Rafael Albuquerque is well suited to both stories -- he relies heavily on shadows, black profiles and dark figures, but also suffuses the daytime parts with strong desert light. He also does some brilliant things with color -- our first glimpse of the vampires takes place in a room filled with bloody background, and the train battles take place against a slow-burning sky that fades into the color of flames.

"American Vampire 1" is an excellent start to a promising new series -- and Snyder and King are quite a formidable storytelling team. Vibrant, creepy and wonderfully bloody.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A vampire like me, October 5, 2010
Six words which will make you want to read this: "Original Stephen King comic. With VAMPIRES."

In actuality, this is a two-part comic -- one part is by King, while the other is by a guy I had never heard of named Scott Snyder. But both halves of "American Vampire Volume 1" are united by a common theme -- vintage Americana is mingled with some gruesome, bloodthirsty vampires, in the 1920s and the Wild West. And it is AWESOME.

Snyder follows a young starlet named Pearl, who is invited to a party thrown by a film producer. The next day, she is found covered in bites in the desert and dying of blood loss. But then she wakes up to find vampiric cowboy Skinner Sweet next to her, and he informs her that she's now a vampire.

But she's not the same kind of vampire as the ones who attacked her -- like him, she's a newly evolved "American vampire" with claws, monstrous teeth and immunity to the sun. Now Pearl is out for revenge against the "old-style" vampires who killed her -- and along with her new love interest Henry, she's got some bloody revenge, treachery and a brewing war to deal with.

King's story goes further back in time to the late 1800s, and shows us the original "American Vampire" -- the infamous Skinner Sweet, an outlaw who runs afoul of a vampire in the desert. When a flood washes out the town where he's buried, the newly undead Sweet returns to the world... and he's more dangerous than ever before.

"American Vampire" is a pretty unique kind of comic book -- two brilliant writers (one famous and one unknown) writing two intertwined story arcs about vampires from long ago. Even better, both King and Snyder manage to do something unique and special with the vampire mythos that doesn't involve pale, wangsty aristocrats.

And while the stories are closely connected, King and Snyder have very distinct styles. King's is faster, brasher and earthier, adding sudden splatters of horror to a seemingly simple Wild West story. Snyder's is a slower, more refined story that suddenly bursts into a bloody revenge tale. And there's a clever undercurrent to his story -- predatory Hollywood bloodsuckers as REAL bloodsuckers? Not bad.

Snyder also has a knack for creating likable characters -- Pearl is a thoroughly likable protagonist, a strong young lady who has to make the best of being transformed into a bloodsucker. King's characters are less endearing, but no less vibrant -- his depiction of Skinner is of a ruthless, grinning cowboy covered in dust and stubble ("I want candy!").

And Rafael Albuquerque is well suited to both stories -- he relies heavily on shadows, black profiles and dark figures, but also suffuses the daytime parts with strong desert light. He also does some brilliant things with color -- our first glimpse of the vampires takes place in a room filled with bloody background, and the train battles take place against a slow-burning sky that fades into the color of flames.

"American Vampire 1" is an excellent start to a promising new series -- and Snyder and King are quite a formidable storytelling team. Vibrant, creepy and wonderfully bloody.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Knock-Out from Scott Snyder, Stephen King & Co., January 27, 2012
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The Stories of Skinner Sweet, the first American Vampire, and Pearl Jones, the aspiring actress turn vampire is some of the freshest stuff I've seen in the vampire genre in years. It just goes to show you that American's are different, and so are their vampires. American Vampires can walk in the day, are weak when the moon isn't visible, and have claws and a ferocious nature. The vampires in this book are intellectual, and out for more than just victims, most are out for revenge. Most of Skinner Sweet's tale is told as an origin by Stephen King, through the eyes of writer of a book called 'Bad Blood.' The books is drawn beautifully by Rafael Albuquerque. The sad tragic character of Jim Book will bring tears into your eyes, as his character is a parallel of Harvey Dent/Two Face, except that Book doesn't give in to that evil. Overall, just a compelling graphic novel; I can't wait to get my hands on subsequent volumes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome vampire graphic novel, October 12, 2010
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I just finished reading this book, and I must say I was completely blown away. Comprising two separate story arcs by Scott Snyder and Stephen King, with art by Rafael Albuquerque, these books establish a new take on the American Vampire. This hardbound book contains 5 separate comic issues, culminating in the merging of the two arcs at some point in the 1920s. The characters are interesting and some appear in both arcs. The art is spectacular and so are the production values of this book. Highly recommended. I'm excited to see where this saga leads going forward.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, January 25, 2012
Great writing, great art style. The writing is great, the art style is great, I love the use of flash backs as well. The pacing is very well done as well. No complaints, only praise! I will definitely be buying Vol 2 and pre-ordering Vol. 3.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish to Hek Reviews: American Vampire, vol. 1, October 16, 2010
Are you sick of humorous vampire policemen? Have you had enough of romantic vampires with Southern accents? If your answer is a whole-hearted "yes", then American Vampire is for you. American Vampire is about bad guy vampires, plain and simple. And revenge.
American Vampire is brought to us from the folks at Vertigo, illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, and written by Scott Snyder and some guy named Stephen King.
A.V. is filled with great visuals and dialogue from the Old West and the 1920s.
The story is told in two parts. One is the origin story, written by King, of Kid Rock lookalike Skinner Sweet, a no-good, dirty, rotten bank robber with a sweet tooth who crosses an evil vampire banker and is killed and buried after a bit of vampire blood is mixed with his own. The town is even flooded by a dam just to make sure he stays buried. What fun would that be, though? Of course Sweet rises from his watery grave as one badass day-walking vampire, more powerful in the sun than the night-walkers who came before him, and, therefore, a threat to all the other vampires.
The other half of the story, written by Scott Snyder, is the story of Pearl Jones, a hard working Hollywoodland starlet wannabe who is tricked into becoming dinner for a group of vampires led by a powerful movie producer. Pearl is saved from death, however, by Sweet, still alive and well after all of these years. Oh my God, however, this is the part where the vampire and the girl would fall in love and buy a house in most stories, but not here. Skinner Sweet turns little Pearl into a day-walker like him and walks away, leaving her to exact her own revenge. He also leaves her a snack: the famous actor who gave her to the vampires in the first place.
American Vampire is not a romance story in the least but instead is full of action, drama, and horror. And blood, big teeth, and razor sharp talons. Skinner Sweet is not the vampire you'd want to have a romance with or have consoling talks with. He's a cold blooded killer...the way a vampire should be. There is a love story told here, however, between Pearl and some guy with a forgettable name but the romance is not heavy handed and full of beautiful, sweet, loving dialogue. The guy, a former marine, even helps Pearl bring down the vamps who fed on her, even the one who said she tasted like vanilla and berries. After she ripped into his throat she said he tasted like something much worse.
At its core, American Vampire is a horror-ific tale of revenge for Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones and they take revenge as only American Vampires could.
If you're looking for a great vampire read without all the romance, go to the graphic novel section of your favorite bookstore or website and get this book. The story is amazing and the visuals are top notch. I only wish to Hek that one day I get a chance to collaborate with any of these talented individuals.

Robert Ford knows a lot about wishes as he is the author of the wishes with an evil twist series, The World of Hek, Book One: Forever and Christlike. Both are available wherever fine books are sold and available for your Kindle or Nook at a new, lower price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong start to an outstanding series!, February 12, 2012
By 
Jason Bean (Iowa City, IA) - See all my reviews
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'American Vampire' is my favorite comic book on the stands. Mixing Scott Snyder's strong characterizations and well-structured story-arcs with Rafael Albuquerque's expressive artwork, 'American Vampire' is a first-rate horror series. This starting collection (issues 1-5) is a strong setup for the rest of the comic, but like a lot of new titles just starting out it's a bit uneven.

This first collection of American Vampire tells two stories: one on Skinner Sweet, a violent outlaw in the old west and one on Pearl Jones, an aspiring actress in the 1920's. Skinner's story shows how he became the first in a new breed of American vampires, after escaping a hanging and takes bloody vengeance on the lawmen who hunted him and the vampires who turned him. In Pearl's story she's attatcked by a group of (more traditional) vampires and ends up being saved by Skinner who turns her into a new breed like him then sends her on a road to revenge. Along the way we learn that there's different "rules" for each vampire species (Skinner gives Pearl a literal list of strengths and weaknessess) and we meet characters like Henry Preston who becomes Pearl's husband and James and Abilena Book who're hunting Skinner (and who's daughter Felicia plays a bigger role later in the series).

While both Pearl and Skinner's separate stories are compelling on their own they were written alternately by Snyder (Pearl's) and Stephen King (Skinner's). Not only does alternating stories within each issue make the overall narrative uneven (splitting each issue in half; though probably worked out okay in single-issue format), both Snyder and King strike surprisingly different tones especially with the characterization of Skinner. There's several years separating the events in each story and I'd say Pearl's is the more compelling of the two, but King's writing is so visceral it makes the alternating story seem like an episode of Buffy (with Skinner acting more like a vampiric version of Wolverine than the monster we see in King's story and later in the series). Having a major name like Stephen King co-writing a title certainly doesn't hurt a comic just starting out, but Snyder's linear approach to the rest of the series (which he takes over as full-writer) is much more coherent.

While the separate stories strikes an uneven tone the artwork by Rafael Albuquerque keeps things engaging and exciting. The violence in both stories gets very brutal and gory but working with Snyder and King's scripts, Albuquerque manages to pace things out so 'American Vampire' doesn't feel like slaughter porn but manages a punch-to-the-gut when on full display.

While this first collection of 'American Vampire' is structured a bit rocky, it's still a well-done comic and a great start to an exciting series. I've never been a fan of Vampires but great characters, compelling stories and well-realized horror make 'American Vampire' a must read for any comics fan.
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American Vampire Vol. 1
American Vampire Vol. 1 by Stephen King
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