GRAPHIC CONTENT PICK OF THE WEEK: Lonmonster – ‘American Vampire’ #16

It’s getting harder and harder to find a vampire story, whether in literature, film, or comics, that depicts the bloodsuckers in such a way that maintains their ferocity and ere of mystery. By now it’s even become cliché to hate on the Twilight series, and outright boring to read another rip on the sparkling vampires. It seems as though many writers don’t even care about vampire lore, but care only about the latest trend in literature to make a name for themselves. Luckily there are people like Scott Snyder who bring a sense of novelty to the vampire genre helping to continue the legacy of the most infamous of creatures. Maybe it’s best we leave our hatred for Twilight behind and start focusing on the true face of modern monsters, American Vampire. The creative team of Snyder and Albuquerque bring you an absolutely jaw dropping tale about vampires and the real horrors of living in a world with them. Snyder and Albuquerque bring vampire folklore of old into the modern era, making for one of the best horror comics on the shelves today. Read on for the skinny…

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Rafael Albuquerque

“The “Ghost War” rages on in the Pacific, and things don’t look good for our heroes when something terrible crawls out of the caves of Taipan. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marines strike, and Henry’s unit is caught in the middle. Plus: the truth about Skinner’s plan is revealed!”

Snyder’s American Vampire is the apple of my eye this week (I’ve got a slight obsession with Snyder). The series started out, believe it or not, with pair up between Snyder and horror legend, Stephen King, who left the project after five issues. After King’s leave, many people worried that the quality of writing would suffer, and the series would inevitably fall into the pile of crappy-vampire-books. But, Snyder proved why he’s one of the best comic writers out there today. Receiving a nomination for an Eisner Award, Best New Series, American Vampire has consistently been an incredible feat in graphic horror storytelling.

The writing itself is nothing less than what you would expect from Snyder. Over the past few years, not only has he been making a name for himself, he’s been setting fire to the entire comic industry, with his (super)natural ability to create dark worlds filled with characters who look as if like they’re scared out of their minds. Although he’s been getting a lot of attention for his work on Gates of Gotham and Detective Comics, this horror series is really what showcases his aptitude and flexibility as a writer.

This arc strays away from Skinner Sweet (the vampire anti-hero of the series) and focuses on a group of U.S. Marines who encounter a new threat: a breed of bloodsuckers faster, stronger, and scarier than anyone has ever seen before. These things look like they’re straight out of Resident Evil, and judging by their appearance, the Marines have very little hope of getting out of this one alive.

Although Snyder is obviously one to admire for this book, it would be outright blasphemous to disregard Albuquerque’s artwork in the series. In horror comics, everyone knows that the art is extremely important. Without a good artist, the comic is doomed to fail. Albuquerque’s work in American Vampire is a perfect fit for Snyder’s style as a writer. The illustrations are dark, sketchy when they need to be, and communicate the sense of fear and anguish like no other book. The detail on faces of the vamps is crucial, and Albuquerque nails it every issue. However, it’s not only what’s on the inside that makes the art stand out. The covers of American Vampire are some of the best out there and should be enough to make anyone pick this book up off the shelves.

American Vampire is not anything like your typical vampire book in contemporary times. There are no sappy love stories, no friendly bloodsuckers, and no other monsters for them to mate with. This is straight up vampire lore with a modern twist. Don’t focus your energy on hating current trends in vampire tales, don’t whine about how there are no “good” vampire tales anymore, because there are. American Vampire if nothing else is a wonderful vampire story, so sink their teeth into this one, it’s gonna get bloody.

“AMERICAN VAMPIRE” Issue #16 Drops Wednesday, June 29th From VERTIGO Comics! (MSRP – $2.99)