American Vampire

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American Vampire
Cover of American Vampire #1.
Publication information
Publisher Vertigo
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date March 2010
Number of issues 34
4 (ongoing) Second Cycle
Main character(s) Pearl Jones
Skinner Sweet
Creative team
Writer(s) Scott Snyder (#1-)
Stephen King (#1-5)
Artist(s) Rafael Albuquerque Mateus Santolouco
Colorist(s) Dave McCaig
Creator(s) Scott Snyder
Rafael Albuquerque
Collected editions
Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4012-2830-9

American Vampire is an Eisner Award-winning[1] comic book series created by writer Scott Snyder[2] and Rafael Albuquerque.

The series imagines vampires as a population made up of many different secret species, and charts moments of vampire evolution and inter-species conflict throughout history. The focus of the series is a new American bloodline of vampires, born in the American West in the late 19th century. The first of this new species is a notorious outlaw named Skinner Sweet, who wakes from death, after being infected, to find he has become a new kind of vampire, something stronger and faster than what came before, impervious to sunlight, with a new set of strengths and weaknesses. The series goes on to track his movements through various decades of American history - along with the movements of his first and only known progeny: Pearl Jones, a young woman working as a struggling actress in the 1920s silent film industry when she is attacked by a coven of European vampires hiding in Hollywood. Sweet saves her (uncharacteristically) by giving her his blood, thereby turning her into an American vampire like him, at which point she seeks revenge on the classic vampires who attacked her in life. The complicated and charged relationship Jones has with Sweet is another focus of the series.

The first five issues featured two stories — one by Snyder and the other by Stephen King, both drawn by Rafael Albuquerque.[3][4] As of the sixth issue, Scott Snyder has taken over as sole writer.[5]

American Vampire has spun off two mini-series. The first, "Survival of the Fittest", illustrated by Sean Murphy focuses on the cases files of the V.M.S., the vampire hunting organization of the series. The second, "Lord of Nightmares", illustrated by Dustin Nguyen further focuses on the mythology presented by Survival of the Fittest. In June 2013, a one shot co-written by Snyder and Albuquerque (who also illustrates the 64-page issue), entitled "Long Road to Hell" which features vampire hunter Travis Kidd, was released.

Plot[edit]

The series will explore notions of vampire evolution and trace the bloodline of a new kind of vampire,[6] an American species, with new powers and characteristics, through various decades of American history.[7]

The first story arc (issues #1-5) begins in 1925, from the point of view of an aspiring actress in L.A. and of a writer at a book conference due to the reediting of his book Bad Blood. Here, the author claims that his work which has been long considered a fictional western/terror story is actually based on true events which he has either witnessed or has collected reliable information on.

The second story arc (issues #6-9) follows the chief of police of Las Vegas in 1936.

The third story arc takes place during World War II in the 1940s. Also during this decade, there is a mini series with Felicia Book.

The fourth and fifth story arcs take place during the 1950s.

Publication history[edit]

This series publication began on March 17, 2010.[8][9] with the release of American Vampire #1. This is the first comic which features original Stephen King scripting who was contracted to the initial five issues.

Characters[edit]

  • Skinner Sweet - An outlaw who lived in the Wild West. He was turned into a vampire when the blood from Percy, a vampire banker, fell into his eye during a fight while he was escaping from being hanged. After being trapped into a coffin sunken sixty-six feet under water, he escaped and hunted the vampires who tried to kill him. In 1936, Sweet has relocated to Las Vegas, where he opened a brothel, using the name Jim Smoke.
  • Pearl Jones - An aspiring actress in the 1920s who was ambushed by a group of vampires led by a vampire director named B.D. Bloch during one of his parties. She was left for dead at a pit in the desert, but was saved by Sweet when he dropped his blood on her eye, turning her into a vampire. She has relocated to Arrowhead, California, using the surname of her husband, Henry Preston, while she is hiding from the other vampires.
  • Henry Preston - Pearl Jones' husband, he's a jazz musician who decided to help Pearl to enact her revenge against the vampires who almost killed her. He isn't intimidated by Pearl's vampirism, but sometimes he feels some sadness by the fact that while he's getting older, Pearl isn't.
  • James "Jim" Book - A detective who worked for Pinkerton Agency, he hunted and arrested Skinner Sweet, who turned him into a vampire in retaliation. Before being consumed by his vampiric instincts, he extracts a promise from Abilena, she is to kill him in exchange for fathering her child that same night.
  • Abilena Camino/Book - Daughter of Felix Camino, her mother died at birth. She is James Book's god-daughter, though she professes an unrequited love for him once she grows up. After his death, she takes his surname and together with her daughter Felicia Book hunts Skinner Sweet for an organization called The Vassals of the Morning Star.
  • Felicia Book - Fathered by James Book and his god-daughter Abilena on the night he dies. She is a member of The Vassals of the Morning Star, an organization which hunts vampires. She seems to have unique abilities due to her father's vampirism, though the extent of her abilities is yet to be seen.
  • Jack Straw - Another member of the Vassals of the Morning Star, Straw was partnered with Felicia Book while investigating vampire activity in Las Vegas.
  • Cashel "Cash" McCogan - As Chief of the Las Vegas Police Department, Cash became involved with Jack Straw and Felicia Book while investigating the grisly murders of several persons responsible for the construction of the Hoover Dam (then called the Boulder Dam).

Collected editions[edit]

The first hardcover collection of American Vampire was published on October 5, 2010, and on October 15, 2010, it debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List for Graphic Books.[10] The second hardcover collection of American Vampire was published and made available for purchase on May 25, 2011. The third hardcover collection of American Vampire was published and made available for purchase on February 7, 2012.

  • American Vampire Vol. 1 (200 pages, collects American Vampire #1-5, ISBN 978-1-4012-2830-9)
  • American Vampire Vol. 2 (160 pages, collects American Vampire #6-11, ISBN 978-1-4012-3069-2)
  • American Vampire Vol. 3 (288 pages, collects American Vampire #12-18, American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1-5, ISBN 978-1-4012-3333-4)
  • American Vampire Vol. 4 (208 pages, collects American Vampire #19-27 ISBN 978-1-4012-3718-9)
  • American Vampire Vol. 5 (272 pages, collects American Vampire #28-34, American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #1-5)
  • American Vampire Vol. 6 (144 pages, collects American Vampire Anthology #1, American Vampire: Long Road to Hell #1)
  • American Vampire Vol. 7 (144 Pages, collects American Vampire Second Cycle #1-6)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Eisner Award Winners since 2010". Comic-Con.org. accessed June 28, 2013.
  2. ^ McMillan, Graeme (November 10, 2009). "American Vampire's Snyder Introduces Our Secret Toothy Cousins". io9. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ "American Vampire Trailer; King and Snyder Talk Scary, Not Sparkly, Vamps". Dread Central. 
  4. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 340. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The first five double-sized issues consisted of two stories, illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque. Scott Snyder wrote each issue's lead feature, and Stephen King wrote the back-up tales." 
  5. ^ Vaneta Rogers. "Scott Snyder Prepares to Go it Alone on AMERICAN VAMPIRE". NEWSarama. 
  6. ^ Geddes, John (October 30, 2009). "Stephen King and Scott Snyder give Vampire an evolutionary twist". USA Today. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  7. ^ Comics: I Don’t Fucking Sparkle: Interview with Scott Snyder, Creator of American Vampire
  8. ^ Phegley, Kiel (October 26, 2009). "Scott Snyder & Stephen King Launch American Vampire". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (October 26, 2009). "STEPHEN KING Brings an American Vampire Tale to Vertigo". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  10. ^ George Gene Gustines (October 15, 2010). "Graphic Books Best-Sellers: Vampire 2.0". The New York Times. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]