King takes a biteWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Though thoroughly mature, sometimes painfully so, comics still carry the mainstream stigma of “childish” superheroes and too-often disregarded for being one-dimensional. How about a brand-new Stephen King comic about vampires to put a stake through that old stereotype?
Paul Shiple, comic-wrangler for The Game Room in Toledo, says Vertigo’s “American Vampire” title is a “new concept series by novelist Stephen King and short story writer Scott Snyder in which they trace the evolutionary development of this particularly deadly species.” You can’t toss a coffin these days without hitting a vampire but the combination of bloodsuckers and “mature-readers only” Vertigo could very well be the blood transfusion the somewhat anemic King needs these days.
Speaking of Vertigo, DC Comics’ sister company hit a homerun last week with the “The Unwritten” No. 11, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. The writer and artist team spun a frightening tale around the real-life novel “Jud Süss,” the story of a Jewish man’s spiritual journey that was unjustly corrupted by Hitler toady Josef Goebbels into a Nazi-produced film of the same name. Goebbels turned it into a devilish piece of anti-Semitism and “The Unwritten” tells of the story itself seeking out the comic’s anti-hero Tommy Taylor to rescue it from a kind of literary schizophrenia. That description’s an injustice to the comic’s poignant and beautiful drama; see for yourself why The Village Voice named the series one of the “Best of 2009.”
Last week’s release of the final chapter of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ noir thriller “Criminal: The Sinners” won great praise from The Game Room’s Shiple, who calls the Marvel-Icon book, “some of the best crime fiction being produced today in any medium.” Crime comics, once a staple of the industry in the 1940s and 50s, have once again become a force and many writers and artists are proving highly adept at the genre. Brubaker’s following has increased with his masterful run on Marvel’s “Captain America” and his “Criminal” is almost, yeah, criminal in its brutality and knee-capping edginess.
Tags: Stephen King