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.

  • Big Break -
  • Bad Blood -
  • Morning Star -
  • Deep Water -
  • Rough Cut -
  • Double Exposure -
  • One Drop of Blood -
  • Devil in the Sand Arc -The second story arc (issues #6-9) follows the chief of police of Las Vegas in 1936. Taking the name Joe Smoke Skinner Sweet has set him self up as on of infant city of Las Vegas' up and coming mobsters.
  • Ghost War arc -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. Under the orders of The Vassals of the Morning Star battles Nazi's to prevent an ancient vampiric threat.
  • The Beast in the Cave arc - This arc takes us back to the 1800's before Skinner was a criminal and Book became a lawman.

Skinner Sweet and Jim Book are revealed to be adolescent friends living on the Book family farm. Skinner's family has recently been murdered and their livelihood a mint farm has been burned to the ground. The boys develop a friendship and Book recognizes that there’s no one Book feels safer with than Skinner. There's an allusion to the Yankee forces having burned down Skinner's ancestral farm, While the two boys are playing the find a rattle snake burrow and Skinner pulls the snake out bare handed. Later, Young James book returns to the Snakes burrow and sets it ablaze. Later in Life Skinner and Book join the US Military as "Indian fighters". Its the year 1871 and Skinner Sweet and Jim Book are a part of an attack on a group of Apache natives.

The Apaches have come to this particular place because their leader is searching for Mimiteh goddess off death. The leader is a scar faced Apache Hole in the Sky, Hole in the Sky believes that Mimiteh is key to annihilating the white man and returning the plains to the Apache's hands.

Corporal Skinner Sweet believes that the Apache are preparing an ambush, when he and Corporal Book capture a young Apache and Skinner slices off his ears for information, his worries are ambiguously confirmed. Back at the cave Hole in the sky finds Mimiteh. When Hole in the Sky begs Mimiteh to attack the white man she is revealed to be the actual original American Vampire.

Mimteh tries to reason with Hole in the sky by telling him how she became a vampire. She tells him about how her French husband Ettienne sold her to two European travelers, whom she leads through the Northern wilderness like Sacajawea. She finds them slaughtering a bear, revealing themselves as vampires. They chase her down and maul her badly. However the Lewis and Clark vampires were unaware that two hunters were tracking them, and right after Mimiteh was bled dry the hunters slaughtered the vampires. Mimiteh survives because of her immunity to wood and her ability to feed on sunlight as an American bred Nosferatu, and she rises and travels home, but Ettienne is long gone so she returns to her tribe.

When she arrives the vampiric hunger overcome Mimiteh and shes slaughter every man, woman, and child in the tribe. feeling remorse she seals herself into the mountain cave. Unfortunately Hole in the sky ignores Mimiteh and Attacks her with a hatchet and consumes her blood.

Back at the camp Skinner recognizes the danger and attempts to track down the Apache on his own, planning to catch them off guard and burn the brush around the camp in the hopes of burning them to death. The next morning Lieutenant Hawley finds Skinner missing and takes Book into custody. He charges Book with with desertion and demands to know Skinner's' whereabouts. Eventually Book finds himself facing a firing-squad, mean while Hole in the Sky has returned to face his troops and transforms into horrific beast. He rallies the troops and they prepare to attack but right before they do Mimiteh returns and attacks

Right before Hawley can carry out Book's execution Skinner arrives with his guns drawn. Skinner walks over confidently and reminds Hawley's men of the danger of the Apache on the mountain. The men hesitate and when they do Hawley draws on Skinner but Skinner is a faster shot. When asked what he’s murdered the Lieutenant, Skinner replies that he’s promoted himself while sucking on a peppermint stick. Skinner leaves book tied to a tree after informing Book of his plan turn the natives, men, women, and children, alive.

Mimiteh blames the Apache for interrupting her solitude and attacks them. When Skinner arrives the Apache have been slaughtered. Book finally breaks free and catches up with Skinner, expecting to find his friend killing Apaches, but finds Skinner by bodies that have been butchered and not burned. When Book admits that Skinner was right about the number of Apaches waiting ambush Skinner implies he had been guessing all a long.

  • Death Race arc -This short arc takes place in the 1950's and focuses on the young vampire hunter Travis. 41. Travis has been tracking a group of vampires, including Skinner to the suburbs

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. Later Skinner finds himself swept up into WWII as he hunts down a threat to his possible with Pearl.
  • 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).
  • Calvin Poole - Met Henry Preston during the Ghost War story arc. Accidentally turned into a vampire after a bottle of Pearl's Blood broke and infected him.

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]