mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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City of Vampires. (71)

American Vampire: Volume One by Scott Snyder & Stephen King, art by Rafael Albuquereque.

Master Sweet, Miss Pearl--
ride now with Mister Kettle
& the queen, Miss Glass.

The nearest corellary to this is Garth Ennis' Preacher, I think. Skinner Sweet is a piece of dark Americana, the Wild West That Was-- not a place of paladin gunslingers but of rapists & murderers. I have to admit that the Skinner Sweet story was a bit too "Nineties Vertigo" for my taste-- the swaggering machismo of Skinner Sweet & the melodramatic saga of his lawmen adversaries is a bit too predictable. Is exactly what it appears to be. The flip side of the story, however, is Hollywood wannabe-starlet Pearl Jones, & that is a much meatier text. The aspiring movie actressed turned new kind of vampire is a nice rendition of the bloodsucker myth. The tone surrounding this book is one of "the hell with sparklevamps!" which I have to admit I find a little pedestrian. Pretty vampires have been a part of the mythology ever since Dracula seduced Lucy & let his vampire brides loose on Harker. Lugosi's "look into my eyes..." Dracula is a masculine presence of seduction. Lois & Lestat's fingernails & eyelashes sparkle in the light. & you know what? I can't begrudge Meyers for doing something different with the story. Vampires are about sex & death; twisting the myth to be about abstinence is well within that circle. The new ideas that American Vampire brings to the table is that of a new bloodline. Evolution. Pearl & Sweet are a breed apart-- they don't mind the sunlight, but weaken under a new moon. Wooden stakes are no worry, but gold burns them. I get that-- in my old Oubliette campaign I used gold as a weakness for a bunch of extrasolarian creatures. The old blood-- the vampires of Europe-- suffer the more traditional banes, & the two "races" stand on the brink of open war, & have ever since Skinner Sweet crawled out of his grave. I think the big stand-out here is Rafael Albuquereque's art-- the viccisitudes of the vampire's bodies & the over-the top ultra-violence lead to great panels like this:

Tags: books, comics, haiku

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