Saturday, June 07, 2008

Vampires – review

Written by: Various

Illustrated by: Various

First published: 2002 (English edition)

Contains spoilers

This is a compilation of graphic shorts and I intend, in the first instance, to look at each story individually.

Vampiritch: Art by: Benoît Springer Story by: Muriel Sevestre

A story set briefly in Styria in 1976 and then in modern day Ireland. The story concerns a Vampiritch, the illegitimate child of vampire and human – still human until they kill.

A nice little morality tale, which turns the genre on its head and asks who is the more immoral the vampire or the hunter? For me, the best story in the collection.

Marriage: Art and Story by: Caza

A short, surreal piece that details a night/day cycle and an eternal marriage. It is difficult to say too much about this piece, other than it has lovely stylised art.

Cosmic Paula in the Pursuit of the Truly Irritated Vampire: Art and Story by Gerald Parel

This is an amusing little tale of Cosmic Paula, a blonde teen hunting down a vampire and thus being late for a TV audition in which she could have played a spunky vampire killer. The role goes, instead, to an actress called Sarah Michelle G…

Sire: Art and Story by: Bryan Talbot

A strange little tale in black and white, with the only colour being added in for blood, which details a monstrous vampire killing his parents – who are human looking vampires. The twist at the end is that whilst all looked Victorian through the tale, the view from the window shows a sci-fi vista.

Jaguar: Art by: Tommy Lee Edwards Story by: Richard Marazano

To the jungles of South America and a group of soldiers take on more than they bargained for. One of the soldiers is also a vampire but the story really goes nowhere.

Internet: Art and Story by: David Lloyd

Dating, internet style. But what happens when the participants happen to be a vampire and a vampire hunter?

A vampire in New York: by: Yoann and Sfar

Surreal to the max, with a splattering of irreverent comedy, a vampire ends up in New York and his fate becomes intertwined with a bullish superhero called Super Bat.

The volume also contains artwork by Mattieu Lauffray, Mike Mignola, Patrick Pion, Gary Gianni, Claire Wendling, Richard Maranzo and Robin Recht – in the form of illustrative plates.

The problem with the volume is that, coming in at only 46 pages, the stories often have little time to develop. These are minor vignettes in a variety of styles but with no common theme (except vampires). Some are more fulfilling than others but they all have magnificent art.

I would say that this is more for the collector than the casual reader. As the volume’s title is not distinctive, in respect of a search, the isbn is 1-56971-683-8. 6 out of 10.

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