American Vampire #1

American Vampire #1
Vertigo / DC Comics
(w) Scott Snyder & Stephen King
(a) Rafael Albuqyerque
FC 40 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

This isn’t the first time that a famous writer has supplied his name to a comic. Over at Marvel, several Stephen King novel’s are currently being adapted into comics. The Dark Tower, The Stand and his short story N. But someone else is always writing the actual comics – Peter David, Marc Guggenheim, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa are just a few of the names of the scripters for those stories. In fact back in the ’90s there was a comic company called Tekno Comix that had a whole line of comics featuring people like Neil Gaiman, Gene Roddenberry, Isaac Asimov and Leonard Nimoy coming up with ideas and then having someone else write the comics. So when I heard that Vertigo had a Stephen King comic with a writer named Scott Snyder I just assumed that it was just more of the same.

Imagine my surprise. The first part of the comic is set in the 1920’s and is written by Scott Snyder. It features a couple of young up and coming starlets working in the film industry and their eventual encounter with vampires. The second half of the comic is actually written by Stephen King and is set in the 1880’s in the old west. A Pinkerton detective has captured the leader of a gang of who robbed the train company. The owner of the train company happens to be a vampire who uses lots of sun tan oil. Both parts are illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque – which maintains a consistent flow to the comic despite taken place in two different time period.

When I heard the comic was another vampire story – I admit, I rolled my eyes. But damn if this comic didn’t surprise me. I did enjoy the Stephen King story more than the Scott Snyder story but there’s nothing wrong with Snyder’s story. And who’d a thought – Stephen King actually writing a comic and it’s damn good. He apparently is only scheduled for the first story arc but it should be a good read. (Shane Hnetka)

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