If the last few years have been the reign of the zombie, it is good to see that that there are people out there still rooting for the original undead, and I mean the real undead and not the twinkly, walking around in broad daylight not drinking blood wussies from the Twilight books. The vampires in this book, from Evil Kat Comix, to paraphrase from a certain Mr Cruise “they are killers!” Vampire Books is an anthology of a trio of stories each written by Rob Ferreri who also adds some pencils to those supplied by Randy Meyer and Neill Hiltebrand. Here is how the stories add up;
Vampire Alley – (w) Rob Ferreri, (a) Randy Meyer
The first story, pardon the pun, whets the appetite. It’s a straight up story of a young lady in the wrong part of town and quicker that you can say “look ma, no reflection”, she attracts the attention of a night walker. Ferreri keeps the simple story moving well in an engaging manner. Indeed there is a piece of mis-direction in play that is worked well into the story. Meyer’s art works well in conjunction, having to accomplish so much in so few pages; there is setup, conflict and of course conclusion all done with a mixture of panel structure to help the ebb and flow of the tale. If there was any improvement to be made in Meyer’s work, I would hope for more consistency when drawing faces.
Writing – 3 Stars; Art – 3.5 Stars
Dr. F’s Monster Therapy: Dracula – (w & a) Rob Ferreri
Next up is a humorous tale about eating something that just doesn’t agree with you. We have all been there, right? The menu looks so good that you sidestep good ole faithful and go for that delicious looking item all the way at the wrong side of the menu. Well, the same things can happen to vampires. Luckily for Dracula he can visit Dr F for some therapy, as long as he co-pay! This light aside has a charm that like the first story, exceeds its expectations. Ferreri, may well be aiming for the humorous jugular with his cartoon style art which helps add a level to surreal-ness to the whole patient and doctor confidentiality.
Writing -3.5 Stars, Art – 3 Stars
Bar Food – (w) Rob Ferreri; (a) Neill Hiltebrand
Ah bar fly’s. No matter where you are in the world, you cannot quite escape those that offer so much whilst staring into the bottom of a glass. Still, you know what they say when you hit the bottom, you bounce back up and in this final story, we get to see one such interaction; a guy hating his job, hitting on a like minded girl. However, this is a vampire book so its not going to end well for someone. Ferreri does a great job, delivering the best story of the three here. The whole thing reminds me of a joke I heard once, that I can’t go into. Suffice to say, this is meant as a compliment as it alludes to the skilful way that Ferreri manages the readers expectation. The art by Neil Hiltebrand on first view really impressed me. Looking at it again it does’nt quite stand up. The art looks digital so doesn’t have a easy flow to it, although Hiltebrand pulls out all the stops for the final panel.
Writing – 4 Stars; Art – 3 Stars
One thing that is consistent throughout the book is the lettering by Kaine, which keeps everything on an even keel. This book in a lot of ways reminds me of the old Hammer House films; it has moments of terror which Ferreri works hard to keep as surprises. The book is part of the annual Vampire Books event, where authors and artists collaborate on vampire themed books in an effort to raise money for the American Red Cross and the Canadian Blood Services. As such, 30% of the sales of the $2.99 books will be pledged to this great cause.
You can pick up this book direct from http://www.evilkatcomix.com