Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Vampire #1

Written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

I came into this book with mid-level expectations. Aside from a few New Yorker pieces, I haven't read any Stephen King since I was a teenager, and I don't know who Scott Snyder is. The big draw for me was Rafael Albuquerque's art, more on which in a moment.

This is a pretty good comic. The first issue (I haven't read any of the interviews or internet puff-pieces about this, so I don't know if this is going to continue) is split between two stories, set forty-five years apart from each other.

The first story (written by Snyder) focuses on Pearl, a wannabe-starlet trying to break into the silent movie industry in 1920s Hollywood. She's holding down three jobs, and maybe finally gets her big break when she is invited to the producer's house for a party (avoiding the warnings of a strange drifter-type who hangs out near her apartment complex's swimming pool).

The second story (by King) is set in 1880s Colorado, where a group of Pinkertons are transporting the leader of a bank-robbing gang to jail by rail. They are attacked by his crew, who are attempting a daring rescue. As it turns out though, the mine owner who hired the Pinkertons is not what he seems.... There is one character who appears in both stories.

The art in this book is awesome. Albuquerque's stuff looked good when he was drawing the much-missed Blue Beetle series, but this is a step above that. The first story has a classic Vertigo look to it, while he changes his style a little in the second story, giving it a more burnished feel.

While there is nothing particularly ground-breaking about this comic, (it is classic Vertigo), and the world is not really crying out for another vampire franchise, there is more than enough going on here to grab my interests, and I'll definitely be sticking around for at least the first arc.

1 comment:

Scott Snyder said...

Thanks for the kind words about American Vampire - excited to hear what you think of 2!