Zachary Rawlins's Reviews > American Vampire, Vol. 1

American Vampire, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder
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M 50x66
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Apr 01, 2012

it was amazing

This was really good - despite my general ambivalence for vampire fiction. A bit of an oddity to have Stephen King writing a big chunk of the comic, but he's as good with the sequential genre as he is with genre fiction, though Snyder's portions flow a bit better.

There's a split story going on here - one half flashback to the history of one 'Skinner Sweat', a thoroughly vile Old West bandit, who ends up becoming the first of the series titular American Vampires. This is an important part of the story - the basic idea is that vampires created in America, from Americans, are very different from European transplants, who are more or less conventional to mythology. I won't give away the difference between the two breeds, but they are intriguing. This is King's part of the gig, and he handles it all quite well.

The other half of the story is set during the golden age of Hollywood, and revolves around a flapper-looking aspiring actress, and her own unfortunate encounter with vampires, and a slightly more fortunate encounter with the aged and mellowed Skinner Sweat, who appears to have shifted from out-and-out monster to anti-hero. This part of the story is very fast moving and gripping, with an extremely relatable main character, good dialogue, and nice art.

Every few years, I tempted to write of Vertigo as something that just appeals to Goth kids, something that will eventually fail the test of time, but they always manage to reinvent themselves in intriguing ways to stay at the very peak of comic book creativity. American Vampire is one of those books that reminds me why I have been reading their stories for so long. I look forward to volume 2, and heartily endorse volume one.
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