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American Vampire Vol. 1 Hardcover – Unabridged, October 5, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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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