‘American Vampire Vol. 1’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Senior Columnist
The image of the vampire has been through the wringer as of late. With movies like Twilight, Vampire Academy,and Cirque du Freak, it is nice to get back to basics with a real horror story. American Vampire presents a dual narrative of two characters separated by both centuries and genres. Despite this, the book is cohesive, engaging, and intensely entertaining.
The story follows two characters: Pearl Jones, a wannabe-actress in 1925, and Skinner Sweet, a cowboy outlaw in 1880. Pearl’s narrative is a noir tale taking place in Los Angeles, written by comic-veteran Scott Snyder. As she’s searching for her big break, she gets in a whole whack of trouble when she ends up dead. Skinner’s story is written by horror legend Stephen King and follows a more destructive path as Skinner is turned into a vampire on the way to his execution. Both narratives show a new take on vampirism as being an old, European disease, now altered by the soil of the “new world.” Tensions arise when the traditional vampire families of Europe attempt to bring the new-breed Americans to heel.
The art, which is done by Rafael Albuquerque, is both unique and grotesquely beautiful. Done with inks and muted tones, each panel looks like a watercolour painting. Albuquerque breaks tradition in the comic horror genre and limits his blood and gore to key points in order to emphasize the frenzied aspect of a predator on the hunt.
With unique art unlike anything I have ever seen before and a deep, well-written story, this novel is the perfect midnight read. A definite recommendation to any horror fans, or as an introduction to graphic novels as a genre.