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American Vampire Vol. 1 Hardcover – Unabridged, October 5, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the American Vampire Series

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From American Vampire, Vol. 1
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From Publishers Weekly

Early 20th-century America is a fitting setting for this horror drama about confronting old traditions. Two linked stories follow a woman and a man. Snyder's tale centers on Pearl Jones, an aspiring actress in 1925 Los Angeles. When Pearl chases what she believes could be her big break, it results in her being left for dead in the desert. King's piece involves antihero Skinner Sweet, a notorious outlaw in 1880 Colorado. Under arrest and en route to his execution, Skinner's escape attempt is foiled by the unexpected presence of a vampire robber baron. Both Pearl and Skinner find themselves afflicted with a vampiric curse, but one that's been altered by their native soil. The two make quick enemies of the older, jealous European bloodlines of vampires that have carved up the spoils of the American west. Violent retribution follows as each refuses to be a pawn of the established order. Albuquerque's art holds back the horror and grotesque elements until the moments when they're most needed, making those scenes shocking and effective. The pacing is slowed by presenting two simultaneous introductory stories. But seeing how Pearl and Skinner deal differently with the monsters they've become and the monsters out to destroy them makes compelling reading. (Oct.) (c)
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Product Details

  • Series: American Vampire (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1st edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401228305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401228309
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Comic
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.
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