DC Comics Vertigo imprint is doing its best to quicken the pulses of comic readers over the new monthly “American Vampire” series, which debuts in comic shops on Wednesday. Already this week, series co-writer and horror legend Stephen King has been talking up his first fully-fledged comics writing gig along with preview pages from his Western-themed half of the comic as well as unveiling a brand new “American Vampire” video trailer on his own web page. To top it off, today Vertigo debuted three new pages by series artist Rafael Albuquerque from the 1920s half of the comic on their Graphic Content blog along with an essay by the book’s creator and co-writer Scott Snyder on his favorite vampires of all time.
“When I think about it, these are my favorites, the vampires from ‘Near Dark,’ ‘Lost Boys’ and ‘Salem’s Lot,’ and the reason – I think – is that they represented something new and newly scary when I was a kid,” Snyder wrote, culling down a list that started with seven movie and literature entrants including King’s own Kurt Barlow character. “They weren’t the old vampires with slicked back hair and accents shuffling around castles on clifftops in some far away land. They were vampires re-imagined as scary and modern things. Young, sexy, sociopathic, sometimes conflicted, sometimes evil, always so real.”
Snyder went on to espouse the virtues of “Vampires that were homegrown, part of the community, the neighborhood, the American landscape. And in a big way, this is what we’re trying to do with ‘American Vampire’; we’re trying to make the scariest, coolest, most bad-ass vampires to date by offering up a brand new species of the things. A species that lives in your town, your city, walks by day (doesn’t wear leather pants or turtlenecks or black trenchcoats or crouch brooding on gargoyles over the rain-soaked city). A stronger, meaner species that stalks every decade of modern American history.”
All of the writer’s favorite picks can be found at Graphic Content.
And for more on Snyder and his writing background and comics history, click on over to last week’s “When World’s Collide” column right here on CBR where Timothy Callahan interviewed the author about his influences. “As a kid, I was a die-hard fan of Spidey and the Hulk and the staples, but I was about 10 when ‘Dark Knight Returns’ came out, and ‘Watchmen,’ ‘The Killing Joke’ – all the seminal books. ‘The Cult.’ ‘Year One.’ So I sort of came of age during that time; it felt like comics were growing up faster than I was,” Snyder said before describing his new comics work for Vertigo and Marvel.
“For ‘Iron Man Noir,’ and definitely for ‘American Vampire,’ they’re propulsive series, with a lot of action and suspense, but they’re also about history, the American character. They play with American iconography a bit – highways and neon and old Hollywood and men’s adventure mags.
“That’s what I do with my prose, and that’s definitely what I’m trying to do with ‘American Vampire’ and ‘Iron Man Noir.’ And believe me, I’m working hard to get them as close to what I want them to be as possible. I did about 10 drafts of ‘American Vampire’ #1, seven of ‘American Vampire’ #2. It’s intimidating, because I’ve been a life-long fanboy, and I’ve put in my time when it comes to prose, but I’m still relatively green in comics and the bar is so high.”
If all those art teases and intensive interviews still aren’t enough to help you decide whether you want to sink your teeth into “American Vampire” or not, be sure to keep your eyes peeled to CBR later this week for a brand new chat with Rafael Albuquerque about his art for the series!
“American Vampire” #1 ships to comic shops tomorrow from Vertigo.