Friday, July 16, 2010

Boy Vampire Vol. 1: The Resurrection

Written by Carlos Trillo
Art by Eduardo Risso

I saw this at a used book store at a very good price, and couldn't resist the allure of Eduardo Risso's art.  I haven't read any of his other work with Carlos Trillo (like Chicanos), although I've been meaning to for some time now.

Boy Vampire is not a typical vampire story at all.  To begin with, the usual vampire rules - sunlight, stakes, garlic - don't apply to this series' nameless protagonist.  He is a very old vampire, having lived since the times of the great Egyptian Pharoah Khufu, who was his father, but in all that time he has not aged beyond his ten to twelve years.

When this book opens, the child's body is found in an old, unused length of sewer pipe.  Once it is exposed to the sunlight, he is revived, and has to make his way through the world after fifty years of rest.  He needs to eat prodigious amounts of food, and never is able to ease his hunger, even when he drinks someone's blood.  He makes a few friends - an old Oglala Sioux man and his granddaughter, but is soon pursued once again by Ahmasi, his father's concubine, and his immortal enemy.

The writing is quite nice.  I quickly found myself liking the child, despite his vampiric tendencies, and I liked the way Trillo set up such a different approach to such an otherwise familiar story.  The art, of course, is incredible.  I found it interesting that so many of the techniques that Risso used in 100 Bullets are also on display here - the strange angles (my favourite being the shot filmed from inside a skull, looking out through the eye and nose holes), and the way he will include little visual stories into the foreground of the scene that is essential to the book.  I thought many of those were from Azzarello's scripts, but I guess not.

It was strange the way these two European creators chose to portray the United States.  I could never quite figure out where this story was set.  One picture made me think this was supposed to be Washington DC, but at other times, it resembled New York.  But then, there is a sub-plot involving the last land to belong to the Oglala Sioux, who would not have been in either city in any numbers.

Regardless of things like that, this is a very cool book.  Apparently Dark Horse is publishing the whole thing in an omnibus edition this summer, and I know I will be picking it up.

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