Thursday, April 29, 2010

American Vampire Comic #2

I feel like I should offer up a toast to Vertigo, because considering the past twelve months have offered up titles like "The Unwritten," "Daytripper," and "American Vampire," I'd say they're creating some excellent titles for the ages.

Take, for instance, the second issue of "American Vampire." If all we got was the first story by Scott Snyder and Stephen King, I think everyone would have been pleased. 1925 Hollywood is a perfect place for a vampire story, not only because the setting in and of itself is a fascinating one, but because we also get the added metaphor of the Hollywood studios being bloodsuckers in their own right. This issue pushes us right into the aftermath of the fatal party that Pearl attended, beset upon by vampires and then dumped in the desert to die. As Pearl stumbles out of the desert, it's a creepy, ominous moment and it's only the beginning of what's to come.

Pearl's transformation this issue is dreamlike and creepy, and full of hints from Skinner as to just what this evolution of vampire has become. His comparison of the European vampires versus American ones suddenly brings the title of the comic into strong focus, even as Pearl gets her revenge on Chase Hamilton as she gives in to her new nature. Rafael Albuquerque's art snaps strongly into focus here, and he's got a sharp control on his figures. As Pearl and Skinner's reflections warp and weave in the mirror, or when we see Pearl begin her transformation, it serves in sharp contrast to the normal looks of the characters, stretching far away from their normal, every-day looks.

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