(originally posted on my livejournal account: http://intoyourlungs.livejournal.com/28549.html)Why Did I Read It:
I've been semi-interested in American Vampire since it made its debut 2ish years ago. I never read the individual issues mind you, but it was still something that caught my eye. In the summer of 2010, I was out and about with some friends in Toronto and we were browsing a BMV (a chain discount book store in Toronto) and I found this baby in hardcover for $9.99. I seriously couldn't pass up such an awesome deal, so I picked it up on the spot and then let it languish in my TBR. I picked it up in November because I needed something quick, and very few books read quicker than graphic novels, so it was perfect.
As you can probably see, this volume was written by both Scott Snyder and Stephen King. Each penned their own stories that are related to each other through a single character. For the most part (and this seems to be the general consensus among many readers) I was more engaged with Snyder's story, about a young lady named Pearl trying to make it big in acting, but her chances are ruined when she's turned into a vampire against her will. King's was about an old novelist who wrote a book chronicling his discovery that vampires actually exist. His stories were originally penned as fiction, but his story centers around him telling his readers at a reading that they are in fact true.
I've been trying to put my finger on WHY I liked Snyder's story more, but I'm having trouble doing so. I guess part of the reason her story is more engaging is that it's more tragic? And she's still a strong character, despite being thrown into this really shitty situation. I was a little thrown off by the betrayal from her best friend because they really did seem so close, yet she seems to throw her under the bus without a second thought. Now, I did *like* King's story, don't get me wrong. My interest is always peaked when stories are told from some outsider looking in, but I was kind of confused at how the author character knew some of the events that transpired (such as that police/sheriff guy sleeping with his friend's daughter -- you'd think that's something that would be kept on the down-low, you know?)
I guess since I'm talking about a graphic novel I should talk about the art. For the most part I liked it, though it was nothing that blew my mind. I liked the color palette that was used throughout (lots of reds and blacks and whites). I think my favourite thing though was how the American vampires were drawn. Those things were *terrifying* and legitimately scary (and kinda cool, but in a freaky way) looking.Final Judgment:
I largely liked both stories contained in this volume, but I would definitely choose Snyder's over King's, though I couldn't tell you exactly why -- there was just something more engaging about about Snyder's that pulled me in, probably because of Pearl (who I thought was a pretty good character.) The art was mostly above-average, though I didn't love any of it. I did really like Albuquerque's rendition of the American vampires though; I thought they looked really cool, if not super freaky. I don't think I'll be buying the rest of the series, hardcover or otherwise, but I do want to keep reading and see where the story goes.