Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque
Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon (Artist, Writer)
Becky Cloonan (Artist, Writer)
Francesco Francavilla (Artist, Writer)
Jeff Lemire (Artist, Writer)
Jared K. Fletcher
A Review by Ruben Mendoza
American Vampire has been on a hiatus for a few months now (save for a one off last month) and is set to make its return later this year. In preparation for that event, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque have put together an anthology issue to introduce new readers as well as bring back fans of the series.
This anthology is very special as it brings in some of the best comic writers and artists together and uses their unique voices and artworks to tell incredible stories. Each writer and artist tells a different short story set in different eras of time. What is remarkable about this is that even though each story is different (one is broken into two parts) it all seems to flow as one giant story. It’s almost as if the entire book is about American Vampire History rather than short stories.
The book is very unforgiving; the vampires are played as such strong and brutal characters that once they arrive on panel, you know what comes next isn’t going to be good. Most of the mainstream media plays vampires as soft and perfect to appeal to a wider audience, but American Vampire shows them as they truly are, not covering any blemish or imperfection. If you have ever seen Near Dark, then you know what kind of vampires we are talking about.
There is a perfect balance in the book between the human and vampire characters, the vampires are portrayed as strong and near impossible to defeat but that’s the thing – they can be defeated. We get a lot of human characters here that are resourceful and will not go down without a fight.
It’s difficult to pin down a writing style when there a so many voices, but each writer does an incredible job with their story and characters. Each story is fantastic but Jeff Lemire’s “Canadian Vampire” and “Lost Colony” by Jason Aaron are true standouts. Both writers manage to tell full, moving tales in just a few short pages, not wasting any panels on filer.
In the art department, Tula Lotay hits it out the park on her Hattie Hargrove story. The artwork is breathtaking and blends well with Gail Simone writing to tell a tragic tale with one heck of an ending! With Halloween right around the corner, this is a perfect time to pick this up and join in the series (I know I will) Even if you are completely new to American Vampire, this Anthology is a great place to start.
American Vampire is worth all the hype, and then some!
Ruben is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheRubenMendoza.