Stephen King, vampires and the American West

American Vampire, Vol. 1 ★★★★

by Scott Snyder

Formula for Success:
Stephen King +
Scary-ass, blood-thirsty vampires +
Bone-chilling, full-color graphic illustrations = Awesome

Steve Niles rocked my world with 30 Days of Night – those vampires kick ass. I was actually really pleased with the movie too. I love how Niles re-imagines the vampire, stealing it back from the trashy, paranormal bodice rippers! For far too long vampires have been distinguished aristocrats, Byronic heroes, or sexy-emo-pouting “bad boys” (don’t even american vampireget me started on the very existence of Edward Cullen). The vampires that descend on Barrow are ruthless, and everything vampires should be if you want to scare the heck out of someone — merciless, bloodthirsty villains with no conscience. Niles should be given a medal for his contribution to both the literary and vampire film canon. For far too long the debonair, smooth-talking vampire has ruled.

Stephen King thinks so too, which is why Scott Snyder did not have to twist his arm too hard to get him on board with this project. Snyder went fishing for an intro,  and what he got instead was a full-on, hard core collaboration. King is all over American Vampire, and the “wild west” themes found in his parts of the story have a lot of Dark Tower energy running through them. I really half-expected Roland to walk right into the story at some point. He may yet, who knows? And can I just give a shout out to the toe-tag? ::grin::

I’ve been drawn into the world, and the notion of a “new” kind of vampire that can walk in daylight at war with the ancient Euro-vampires is intriguing. I will definitely come back for more of this series.

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