Comics Review: American Vampire #1

American Vampire #1
Grade: B
Writer: Stephen King, Scott Snyder
Penciler: Rafael Albaquerque

If you follow this blog, you'd know that I'm a big fan of Vertigo Comics. So every time they pitch something new, I'm always there to catch it. But when I saw their ad for American Vampire, I grimaced in contempt. I mean, really? Another vampire story to ride the vampire pop culture wagon? Though when I saw the ad's tag line that says: "original Stephen King comics work", I couldn't move fast enough to call my comic book retailer to reserve my copy.

I'm not really familiar with King's work, except for The Stand and the comics adaptation of The Dark Tower. It was merely his "master of horror" title that got me to buy this book. That and I was also curious of how he'll do in comics. But he did good, alright. He gave us a bloodsucking cowboy, Skinner Sweet, for a protagonist in this book. I know, a vampire cowboy. But I'll take that anytime over glittering vampires. Plus, King sold his character real well. Because Sweet, the first American vampire, is a bad ass outlaw even before he had his fangs. Think of him as a cross between Jesse James and Wolverine.

Surprisingly, I love the first part of the book, the part that Scott Snyder wrote, even more than King's part. I don't know who Scott Snyder is to be honest. But if his works is as good as in this issue, I want to read them all. Snyder wrote the story of Pearl Jones -the other protagonist- and how she got her fangs. Jones is a struggling young actress in Hollywood, and everybody seems to want to take advantage of her, suck her dry. I really love the pacing, its suspenseful. Every time I turn the page, I was expecting Pearl to be bitten by the guy who's been hitting on her.

Overall, I think American Vampire is going to be a great horror comics. King definitely has the chops to write in comics, and Snyder is also good. The characters here are great, the writing is top notch and the artwork is amazing. The 1920's Hollywood setting is also perfect, glitz and glamor in the surface but grit and grime underneath. It might not going to be as good as The Walking Dead though. But it's still a good horror title to sink your teeth into.

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Scott Snyder said...

hey man - thanks a ton for the kind words - eager to hear what you think of #2! s