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Review Group: American Vampire #8

Written by John Snow on Tuesday, November 16 2010 and posted in Reviews

Kerny had the pick for new comics shipping November 10th and he selected American Vampire #8 by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque.

banner_OHredThe Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse's News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.

American Vampire has a serious buzz going here at The Outhouse.  Does it live up to the hype?

1110-americanvampire8_coverReview by Victorian Squid

This seems like an interesting story, and the the art was great. I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on and who everyone was, though. I still plan to read it in trades later and I'm sure I'll look back on this someday and it'll all make sense.

I don't even know how to score it, looked great, lots of interesting characters...

8 maybe?

Review by starlord

I'm sort or getting burned out on the whole vampire story right now, so it's always refreshing to read something of that genre that interests me. I did enjoy the first seven issues quite a bit but issue #8 seems to have taken the story in a whole different direction - of which I totally approve.

A much more linear story is now evolving and that's just fine with me. Also I think this particular issue actually seemed a bit better than the others without master horror novelist Stephen King involved. Though I'm a HUGE King fan, I always felt that his story seemed to be phoned in.

The art is, in my opinion, some of the best on the marke, as is the inks and colors. This is a great story that is nicely packaged and once again proves that Vertigo is heads and tails above all the other companies in quality.

The only drawback of this week's pick is that it may be a bit bumpy for new readers to get into, but it's not one of the hardest to either. Great pick this week!

Story: 8
Art: 10
My Score: 9.55

Review by Punchy

Story - In my review of the first issue of American Vampire for this very site (read it here: http://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/reviews/punch-drunk-reviews/7031-american-vampire-1-review.html), I focussed a lot on how the Vampire had been twisted into something it was never meant to be by stories like Twilight and True Blood, and that American Vampire was all set to right Edward Cullen's insipid wrongs by returning our Fanged Friends to their roots, but in many ways, I was wrong in that assessment, American Vampire is not exactly a return to old traditions, it's changing vampires just as much as Twilight et al, but it's just doing it in a different way, and this 8th issue, and the 3rd chapter in the book's second story arc, is a good demonstration of that.

Scott Snyder, now going solo without the esteemed Stephen King is creating his very own mythology of Vampires in America, and has developed it wonderfully, and is doing a great job of entwining it with real American History. While the first arc featured stories set in 1920s Hollywood and the Wild West, this second story is all about the building of Las Vegas, and the reveal that the city was built with funding from Vampires is a brilliant bit of business, Las Vegas, a city that comes alive at night, a city of Sin... it's the perfect place for Vampires to get involved, in fact, it's such a great idea that I'm surprised it hasn't been done before. But that's the hallmark of all great ideas isn't it?

This arc has very much been a Historical Crime story with just a hint of Vampires around the edges up until now, with the Young Sheriff Cashel McCogan investigating mysterious deaths that surround the construction of the Hoover Dam, but with this chapter, the Vamps are back in full force, Pearl Jones from the first arc is back, and it's interesting to see how her character has changed and how it has stayed the same, while Skinner Sweet seems fairly unchanging, Pearl is something new, and I can't wait to see what she gets up to next. How Snyder is developing what makes her different is also interesting, it's clear that he has lots of different ideas about lots of different types of Vampires, and when that's revealed it should be very exciting, he has a lot to live up to compared to Chris Roberson's 'Unified Theory Of The Undead' in iZombie, but I'm sure Vertigo has room for both. The development of the Vampire Hunters is also strong here, the Book family was a big part of King's story, so it's good to seem them back in the mix.

American Vampire continues to be one of the strongest comics on the market, Snyder is reinventing the Vampire here, and he's doing it for America, throw in some rock-solid dialogue and a great ending, I can't wait for the conclusion of 'Devil In the Sand' and whatever comes after that.

Art - Rafael Albuquerque continues to be a revelation on this title. Can you continue to be a revelation? I dunno, but if you can, he is. He made the jump from Teenage Superheroes to Horror amazingly, and is just a brilliant fit for this book, managing to tweak his style accordingly for whatever era he's drawing, but also make it a unified whole. Just great.

Best Line - 'Let me get this straight. You want me to tell you how to kill me?'


Review by John Snow

You know the old saying about every issue being someone's first? Well this was my first issue of American Vampire and yeahbuhwah? This isn't new reader friendly at all. Not that there was any expectation on my part that it would be, the third issue of a series' second arc isn't typically a good jumping on point for any comic.

While I was able to get a general sense of why this might be an interesting comic there wasn't enough background information being provided for me to gain any context for any of the scenes or characters. At least if I do go back and start reading the series in collected form, this didn't make enough sense for it to have spoiled anything.

The art was cool and it set a good tone. Albuquerque seems to be channeling a bit of Yu here which I don't remember from the last time I picked up a comic with his art but I liked it.

This is a tough comic to judge with no prior knowledge of the series. I still plan to eventually read it in trades, but this issue didn't inspire a desire to run out and pick it up sooner than I would have otherwise.

Story: 5
Art: 8
Overall: 6.5

Review by 48THRiLLS

This has been a great book from the start, I felt it got even better when King left. It seems to me that Snyder has a great grasp on the story that he wants to tell and I think this second arc has been proof of that. The vampires in Vegas idea is a fantastic one and the subplot with Pearl has a Unforgiven feel to it (I am not that Vampire anymore). I am also digging the Vampire Hunters and I can't wait till we see how Skinner gets over on them. The art on this has been amazing and keeps getting better and better in my opinion, the colors are great and Raphael Albuquerque draws some fantastic looking vampires. I love how this one left off and can't wait to see the conclusion, this must have been a toughie for newbies to review but I highly recommend reading the trades if this piqued your interest at all... it is definitely worth it.

ART - 10

That gives American Vampire #8 a group score of 8.11.  That's something of a small sampling, but it looks like if you've been reading American Vampire this was a great issue.  If you haven't?  Maybe you should go back and start at the beginning.

For what McKegan calls "all the geeky, bitchy arguing about comics you'd expect from a comic message board condensed into absolute awesomeness", check out our Superboy thread and post your own review in The News Stand forum.

I have the pick for November 17th and I have selected Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil from Dark Horse Comics for no other reason than to fuck with 4thy.  It had nothing at all to do with it being a new reader friendly one-shot with a proven creative team or with Hellboy being one of my favorite funny book characters.  Look for next week's very special Review Group thread in The News Stand forum on Wednesday morning to join in on the fun and post your own review!

1117-hellboy-dfoe_coverHellboy: Double Feature of Evil

Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Richard Corben

Eisner Award-winning horror masters Mike Mignola and Richard Corben present this bloodcurdling double--feature comic with Hellboy entering two very different, but very deadly, houses--a carnivorous home and a pagan temple, both hungry for human sacrifices. $3.50

Written or Contributed by: John Snow

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