American Vampire, Volume 1

American Vampire, Volume 1

4.5 17
by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, Rafael Albuquereque
     
 

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This volume follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King. Snyder's story is set in 1920's LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European Vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King's story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original

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Overview

This volume follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King. Snyder's story is set in 1920's LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European Vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King's story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original American Vampire— a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before with rattlesnake fangs and powered by the sun.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Early 20th-century America is a fitting setting for this horror drama about confronting old traditions. Two linked stories follow a woman and a man. Snyder's tale centers on Pearl Jones, an aspiring actress in 1925 Los Angeles. When Pearl chases what she believes could be her big break, it results in her being left for dead in the desert. King's piece involves antihero Skinner Sweet, a notorious outlaw in 1880 Colorado. Under arrest and en route to his execution, Skinner's escape attempt is foiled by the unexpected presence of a vampire robber baron. Both Pearl and Skinner find themselves afflicted with a vampiric curse, but one that's been altered by their native soil. The two make quick enemies of the older, jealous European bloodlines of vampires that have carved up the spoils of the American west. Violent retribution follows as each refuses to be a pawn of the established order. Albuquerque's art holds back the horror and grotesque elements until the moments when they're most needed, making those scenes shocking and effective. The pacing is slowed by presenting two simultaneous introductory stories. But seeing how Pearl and Skinner deal differently with the monsters they've become and the monsters out to destroy them makes compelling reading. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Snyder and master novelist King tell the story of Skinner Sweet, a bank robber and murderer who terrorizes the American West before he is turned into a vampire. Sweet is a new breed of monster who can walk freely in the sun and is unaffected by water, plus he's stronger and faster than his Old World brethren. Sweet's origin is only half of the story. Pearl is a young woman trying to make it big as an actress in 1925 Los Angeles. Sweet turns her into a vampire after she narrowly survives being a meal for the vile creatures. Snyder and King don't fully avoid the tropes and stereotypes of vampire fiction. A desire to retain one's humanity, the sympathetic human lover, and vampires-as-mobsters are all present here. However, Albuquerque's art is bold and strong, and the violence is uncompromising.Verdict Hard-core horror fans who tire of Byronic vampire heroes will find a new favorite character in Skinner Sweet. Fans of the Weird West and/or Hollywood noir have something to like here, too.—M. Brandon Robbins, Wayne Cty. P.L., Goldsboro, NC
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Billed as "a new vampire for a new century," American Vampire takes traditional stories and reinvents them with a Western flair. In 1880, a criminal named Skinner Sweet is accidentally transformed into a vampire when the blood of a European vampire splashes onto him as he dies. Nobody realizes that Skinner is still alive in his grave—certainly not the men who try to find his coffin years later and learn the horrifying truth just moments before their deaths. Skinner is reborn as the next stage in vampire evolution, a creature who is energized by the sun rather than threatened by it, thus having the distinct advantage of being able to hunt in daylight. As King explains in his introduction, he was asked by Snyder to write a blurb and ended up writing Skinner Sweet's backstory as well. The book contains both stories; Snyder's story, which begins in the 1920s, and King's story, which begins in the 1880s. Thus readers see Skinner both as a human and as a new breed of vampire, and they see how his attitudes and abilities change after his transformation. They also meet Pearl Jones, a young woman who dreams of becoming a famous actress but who discovers that Los Angeles is even more dangerous than she expected. Albuquerque's illustrations are vibrant and colorful, and he uses a unique method of overlapping panels to great effect. His artwork is superbly suited for Snyder's and King's gruesomely imaginative tales.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401229740
Publisher:
DC Comics
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Series:
American Vampire Series, #1
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
102,896
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 10.16(h) x 0.34(d)

Meet the Author

Scott Snyder has been published in Zoetrope, Tin House, One-Story, Epoch, Small Spiral Notebook, and other journals. He teaches at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence University and lives in New York with his wife, Jeanie, and his son, Jack Presley. He's currently at work on a novel for the Dial Press.

Stephen King is the bestselling author of The Stand, The Shining, The Dark Tower books and multitudes of other works, most recently Under the Dome. AMERICAN VAMPIRE marks Stephen King's debut with Vertigo/DC Comics; it is the first comic book writing he's done, based on original material, as opposed to existing characters.

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