Snyder, Scott and Stephen King. American Vampire

 

In a graphic novel series billing itself as “a new vampire for a new century,” Western outlaw Skinner Sweet is accidentally transformed into a vampire when the blood of an old European-style vampire splashes across his mortally wounded body.  No one realizes that Sweet is undead in his grave—until years later when graverobbers dig him up and get a terrifying surprise. Sweet is a different breed of vampire than his creators; he is stronger and faster, powered by the sun and thus able to walk and hunt by day, able to transform horribly with a distended jaw and huge talon-like fingers, and with a different set of weaknesses.  He proceeds to set about feuding with the old breed European vamps, mostly  rich old men who seek to keep American industry under their thumbs as they did European, as well.  Not until decades later does Sweet create another of his kind, and he inexplicably chooses a spunky young wanna-be actress in 1920s Hollywood, Pearl Jones, who has been abused horribly by the European vamps in charge of the studios. As the series progresses, Pearl becomes one of the focus characters, as do the descendants of the sheriff who originally sought to put Skinner Sweet behind bars—and later, in his grave.

Vibrant, colorful, and dynamic illustrations contribute effectively to this compelling new spin on the vampire story.  Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones make a perfect odd-couple of protagonists as each deals with becoming a monster in a very different way, drawn to one another despite themselves. A lot of fun!

RA Blog Categories: