Yes, that Stephen King. And someone I hadn’t heard of before — but I’m willing to follow Scott Snyder down whichever dark alley he heads next.
American Vampire combines western adventure and the golden age of Hollywood with vampires in the tradition of Nosferatu and Bram Stoker. These vamps bear no resemblance to the creatures that Stephen King disdainfully describes as “lovelorn southern gentlemen, anorexic teenage girls, or boy-toys with big dewy eyes.”
The story starts in 1925 with Pearl Jones, a wanna-be starlet, attending a big Hollywood producer’s party. She is attacked and left for dead.
The story then jumps back to the 1800s where men from the Pinkerton Agency have taken custody of Skinner Sweet, a notorious gunman and robber. On his way to trial, Sweet’s gang crashes the train, but when Sweet tries to escape, he is attacked by a vampire and left for dead. (This is a very premature conclusion.)
The stories intersect when Skinner comes to Pearl as she wakes up in the morgue. He explains that she is like him, a new kind of vampire, an updated model of the vampires that created her. But different how? She’ll have to figure that out for herself. The two story arcs continue with King telling the story of how Skinner became the vampire outlaw and Snyder telling how Pearl avenges herself against the old bloodsuckers who turned her.
Drawings by Rafael Albuquerque add horror and depth to the story. I love it when the pictures say so much more than the words. There’s this one panel where Skinner pops out from his underwater coffin that sent chills down my spine…
My friend Jessica recommended this one — and I’ll have to thank her. American Vampire is a wonderful start to a promising new series.
Check the WRL catalog for American Vampire