American Vampire Vol. 1

American Vampire #1 - Stephen King, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque It was not amazing, but it was close to it; I almost gave it five stars. I am hoping the series will get better because certainly it got off to a very good start. In brief, if you are one of those pansies who like vampires that are emo, sparkle, or spend their eternity whining, then you can go ahead and skip this book. If you like vampires as the evil, blood-sucking, take no prisoners kickass creatures that they were before certain writers (and I use the term loosely) wussified them, then you have to read this series. Snyder and King truly offer a new take on the vampire mythos with their American Vampire, a vampire that is born and native to the United States. Key difference? Powered by the sun, which when you think about it makes perfect sense, especially in the Old West. This volume collects the first five issues of the series. The series is set up in two parallel stories: Skinner Sweet's origin story (he is the original American Vampire)in the late 1800s, and Pearl's story, a young girl who is turned into an American vampire as well by Sweet during the Roaring 20s in Los Angeles. Skinner is a gang leader. They robe a bank, go afoul of the law, get chased down by a Pinkerton agent hired by the bank, and I will say no more on this. Pearl was an aspiring actress who gets raped and left for dead whom Skinner turns empowering her to get her revenge. The two stories are tied very well, and reading through this volume flows very easily. Once you start, you won't be able to put it down. Now readers may think Skinner is just your average bad guy, but he is presented in a way that you do care for the guy as well as for the other characters. Oh, and did I mention that the American vampires, being different, are hated by the "old world" vampires who are pretty much what we usually think of vampires (nocturnal, so on). The art is gritty, and it matches the stories very well. It does lend itself to rereading, so though I borrowed this volume from the library, I would certainly consider buying it and the rest in the series as they come out later on. I guess I did not go all the way to five stars because there is a bit if a cliffhanger at the end (this was not a bad thing, I just found myself wanting to read more), which I won't reveal and sets up the next volume (I am assuming there will be a next compilation volume), and to be honest, I did feel it ended a bit too quickly. But aside from those little nit picks, this is one I highly recommend to vampire fans and graphic novel readers.