Coppola’s film starring Gary Oldman as the vampire is one of my favorite films. Actually, a lot of my favorite films are old vampire movies, especially old Hammer ones starring Cushing and Lee.
That being said, when it comes to other literature like comics, I don’t really read that much vampire stuff. Most people can’t really DO vampires in my opinion, because they borrow too much from the Anne Rice school of vampires.
Vertigo’s American Vampire, by Stephen King and Scott Snyder and art from the as-usual-amazing Rafael Albuquerque, is a different breed of beast though.
The book’s stated intent of creating a new type of vampire is both a literary but also a metaphorical sort of thing, because even in this first issue, we’re thrown into the history of the making of America. Not the Revolutionary War and our literal breaking away from Europe, but the more gradual growth of American culture, with films, the Wild West, and the growth of the railroads and banks.
At the same time too, we know we’re in for a look at the birth of a new kind of monster, one that isn’t bound to almost ridiculous opulence and ceremony and pomp. Monsters that are brutal and ugly and efficient and unsure of their place in the world compared to the in-depth history all around them.
Hey, how about that, vampires as metaphors for the growth of a nation.
Barring a very creepy moment right in the beginning that plays into one of my own horrific fears, I wasn’t initially sure if I liked American Vampire #1 at first. But after sitting and re-reading it carefully a few more times, I’m excited to see where it’s going to go.