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American Vampire, Vol. 1

American Vampire #1 - Stephen King, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque I'll start this off by saying that I fully expected to hate this.. or at least be bored by it. Despite the fact that Scott Snyder is highly regarded in the comic industry at the moment - what with kicking all kinds of ass with the recent Batman reboot/relaunch/whatever - and perennial favorite, Uncle Stevie lending his writing chops to the series, I still expected mediocrity.

Why?

Because I'm starting to hate vampires. No, this isn't an anti-twilight rant nor does it have anything to do with disliking something because it's popular. It mostly has to do with just a never ending stream of what feels like average content. Take Justin Cronin's The Passage series. While I felt the first book was OK at best, the second book was unbearable, so much so that I put it down - I just couldn't soldier on through something I feel so negatively about.

The good news is, with lowered expectations, it only really leaves room for someone to move up. That or dive down into the sub basement of boredom.

Snyder and King craft a story bringing together two distinct periods in time involving two pretty different characters. While at their core, they're a lot a like, it's there origins that bring about conflicting emotions in the reader. One, an outlaw of the old wild west and the other, a struggling young actress in 1920s Hollywood.

Both were excellent and certainly leave a lot in the open for future volumes. I already enjoy Snyder's writing but Rafael Albuquerque's art is exceptional to say the least. His visuals sync up perfectly with the style of the story that's being told and offer up some pretty gruesome shots.

This is the kind of vampire storytelling I can get behind. You've got compelling characters with an interesting plot for them to play around in. It doesn't feel manufactured and the inclusion of vampires never really feels like a gimmick used to cash in on the genre's massive popularity.

I've got volume one and two sitting on my coffee table all set to go - I think I'll be breezing through these in pretty rapid succession.