Graphic Novel Review: American Vampire Book One
(Titan Books �18.99)
FORGET Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood, this acclaimed new comics series certainly isn’t for kids. It doesn’t waste time on lovesick bloodsuckers pining after human lovers, but instead cuts right to the heart of the vampire myth with a bloody explosion of horror and violence.
Creator Scott Snyder focuses on the dark side of 1925 Los Angeles, as would-be starlet Pearl looks for her big break in the fledgling movie industry. But after she becomes caught up with the secret benefactors of one particular studio, a pack of European vampires, her life is transformed forever by the intervention of the deadly Skinner Sweet…
In a flashback to 1880s Colorado, the legendary Stephen King recounts the origin of the very first American vampire, a merciless bank robber by the name of Skinner Sweet. Stronger and faster than his creators, boasting lethal rattlesnake fangs and no aversion to sunlight, Sweet is a new breed of killer set to leave his mark on the Old West forever…
The current trend towards teen vampire fiction has robbed this age-old supernatural force of much of its bite, with far too many stories focused on the romantic dilemmas faced by these pale immortals rather than their true predatory nature. Thankfully, Snyder and King are interested in portraying their protagonists as the cold-hearted killers they truly are, and the twists they have introduced to Sweet and his kin perfectly captures the distinctly American flavour of the narrative.
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A hard-edged, powerful introduction to a series which will hopefully run and run, just like the blood dripping from Skinner Sweet’s victims’ throats…
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