Words: Snyder, Scott and King, Stephen
Pictures: Alberquerque, Raphael
Vertigo Comics, 2010
Look, I’m not coming late to this vampire craze, I promise. As we’ve already established, I like my vamps covered in blood and ripping out throats, rather than dry-humping their teenage girlfriends to the dulcet strains of some emo band – or as Mr. King so evocatively tells us in his introduction:
“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.”
And boy, if the throat-ripping vampire is your scene, you could do worse than Skinner Sweet, the dark star of the American Vampire comic book series.
I know I’m gushing here, but honestly, this comic is just luminous. The writing is brilliant, the artwork glorious. Because the story traces Skinner Sweet across several decades of his existence – from his creation as a vampire in the 1920’s, in point of fact – careful attention has obviously been paid to the costuming of the characters and even their manner of speaking. It’s just very freakin’ cool.
I know that you shouldn’t judge a story when you’re only part of the way through it, but for this I’ll break my own rule. As a stand-alone story, Bad Blood, the Skinner Sweet origin story, works particularly well, but like many comic books which are built specifically for the drip-fed format, as you move through the volumes, it becomes more daunting to simply ‘pick up and play’. Which is not to say you can’t do it, but I’d be loath to suggest such a thing when the beginning is so good and adds so much to your understanding of the comic. Read the rest of this entry