American Vampire

American Vampire

Book rating: 04 Hardback American Vampire (Hardcover)

By (author) Scott Snyder, By (author) Stephen King, Illustrated by Rafael Albuquereque

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  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Format: Hardback | 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 264mm x 15mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 5 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1401228305
  • ISBN 13: 9781401228309
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: illustrations
  • Sales rank: 33,391

Product description

Written by SCOTT SNYDER & STEPHEN KING Art and cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE From writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King, AMERICAN VAMPIRE introduces a new strain of vampire - a more vicious species - and traces the creatures' bloodline through decades of American history. This first hardcover volume of the critically acclaimed series collects issues #1-5 and follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King, both with art by future superstar Rafael Albuquerque. Snyder's tale follows Pearl, a young woman living in 1920s Los Angeles, who is brutally turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European monsters who tortured and abused her. And in King's story set in the days of America's Wild West, readers learn the origin of Skinner Sweet, the original American vampire - a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before. Don't miss out as Snyder and King set fire to the horror genre with this visionary, all-original take on one of the most popular monster stories! This beautiful collection features a new introduction by Stephen King and bonus art including character sketches, variant covers and more! On sale SEPTEMBER 29 192 pg, FC, $24.99 US MATURE READERS

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Author information

Scott Snyder has been published in Zoetrope, Tin House, One-Story, Epoch, Small Spiral Notebook, and other journals. He teaches at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence University and lives in New York with his wife, Jeanie, and his son, Jack Presley. He's currently at work on a novel for the Dial Press.Stephen King is the bestselling author of The Stand, The Shining, The Dark Tower books and multitudes of other works, most recently Under the Dome. AMERICAN VAMPIRE marks Stephen King's debut with Vertigo/DC Comics; it is the first comic book writing he's done, based on original material, as opposed to existing characters.

Customer reviews

By 365 Graphic Novels 07 Aug 2012 4

This is the story of the first Vampire created in America, back in the 19th century, and his subsequent unlife through the following decades.

It is an unusual format in that it contains two stories. One is the titular vampire's origin story in 1880 and the other is that of his "offspring" in 1925. The two never mix and each issue is divided squarely down the middle with half each. Each is written by a different writer (with Snyder taking overall control) but drawn by the same artist.

This interesting technique pays off. You get twice as much narrative, drama and excitement, plus the joy of piecing the story together as you see places and people decades apart. The two books in one are carefully structured so that you could read them separately and neither feels weaker or dependant on the other.

It is very much a slow burn, eschewing the flashy hooks or rapid pacing of modern comics, but you can feel there is a novelist at the helm. Once the time is right it shifts into high gear and the solid foundations and characterisation catapult you into frenetic action. There are some great twists and cliff-hangers and plenty to keep you interested.

With vampire fiction there are all sorts of questions about sunlight, mirrors and so on. There are classic European vampires with all the familiar traits but Snyder's setup of the first of a new breed of American vampires allows him to bring his own rules without stepping on any toes.

The art is good and uses a murky watercolour-wash feel for the older story and cleaner, crisper colouring for the 1920's. The layout is traditional straight edged panels but each page has a different composition with less or more art depending on the story needs. The words never dominate the page and there are plenty of mute panels to break things up and show you what you need to know.

This definitely has the feel of a saga. This promises to be an epic, like the Godfather, sprawling down through the generations; each new volume visiting a different period with new characters and fresh stories to tell.

There is a forward, afterword, full cover line-up, concept art and script pages. It is even printed on sustainable paper too.

Definitely a Thumbs Up!

By Nicola Mansfield 17 Oct 2010 5

Reason for Reading: Vampires? Stephen King? The Old West? The 1920s? Everything I love in one book. I was so there!

If you are ready for the return of "real" vampires then get ready because they have returned in American Vampire. In fact, we've got a new breed of American-made vampire that doesn't have all the same restrictions as the old European breed, one that not anyone knows the complete differences in power or weaknesses, yet.

What an absolutely fantastic volume of story, background, character and gruesome horror! Coupled with probably the best artwork I have ever seen in a graphic novel, the paintings are gorgeous and terrifying at the same time. The story is actually two separate storylines running side by side. First the present time 1925 Hollywood where the Hollywood moguls are bloodthirsty vampires feeding off wannabe actresses. The lovely, hard-working, country values yet flapper-ly independent Pearl is one of those poor souls taken advantage of but she survives, well dies, then survives with the unwanted help of Skinner Sweet to seek revenge on those who did this to her.

Skinner Sweet, himself, is the other story, written by King. Set in the late 1800s during the last days of the Wild West it tells the story of how a no good outlaw accidentally became a vampire and discovered, that as the first all-American, he was different from the rest. He could walk in the day for a start and this really irked the old Euro-vampires. One, that he had even been created, as they had agreed to only feed on the riff raff of this continent, and that he appeared to be more powerful than them. His story takes on the classic western tale of outlaw versus lawman but that tale becomes rather twisted when the outlaw is a vampire.

I read this volume quite slowly as I just didn't want the story to end and I wanted to linger on the pages. I love Pearl. She's a wonderful character, someone with high standards who is really p*ssed that this has been done to her. Even her boyfriend, who doesn't believe her at first, stays with her after he knows the truth. She is also drawn very pretty in a subtle way and I was looking forward to her going all vamp, thinking she'd be a fun vampire. You know the way Angel and Spike are still cute, even when they go all vamp? Well, uh-uh, not in this book. Going vamp is violent and ugly! Then the first time we see Skinner turn is breathtakingly hideous. There is a lot of violence and gore with these vampires and it got to the point where I sometimes dreaded turning the page. I love it! Skinner Sweet is one evil dude, but from what has been shown of him so far, I think he is going to prove to be an interesting character with more to him than we've seen so far. A gripping read and a perfect use of the graphic medium.