An Almost Made Up Poem

American Vampire Makes Readers Remember When Vamps Were Scary
May 22, 2012, 5:26 am
Filed under: Book Review, Uncategorized | Tags:

Skinner Sweet does not sparkle and definitely does not want to play nice. In the comic series “American Vampire”, creator and writer Scott Snyder collaborates with Stephen King to develop the first 5 issues of this chilling vampire story– about the devilish first American Vampire, Skinner Sweet. Sweet is unlike any modern vampire protagonist. He is not misunderstood, heartbroken, or even remotely nice in his human life. Sweet was always a monster, a renegade, and most of all a depraved son a of a bitch. He was a murderer, a pretty seasoned bad guy with a gun and taste for senseless killing.

The first 5 issues center around two stories. The first is Skinner’s origin story which is set in the Wild West era. Skinner is a gun-touting outlaw that pisses off the wrong people and ends up being turned into a vampire, the first American vamp. This curse turns this awfully cruel human into an almost invincible badass. Sweet’s type of vampire is different, evolved, and ready to take revenge on all the people who made him transform. Somehow, I found myself liking Sweet, with his pompous attitude and ruthless behavior. He was, after all, exactly what a vampire is meant to be: utterly frightening. The second story is that of a 1920’s starlet, Pearl Jones, who is trying to make it in Hollywood. Her dreams are shattered when she experiences the ugly side of show biz, full of blood-sucking vampires, and I don’t mean talent agents. Pearl and Sweet share a common enemy and unique powers. Skinner Sweet seems to be immediately drawn to her and her spunk. Their bond seems to be one that will be revisited and might serve as a  means to deeper insight into Sweet’s psyche.

After watching “Twilight” (don’t judge me there was nothing on and I was sick and those vampires and werewolves look dreamy after lots of Vicodin) and “True Blood” ( and yes, I know they are books too, but no, I did not read them), I realized the modern vampire has become a satire piece or subject matter for Tween porn. After reading “American Vampire”, I am reminded of what a vampire was initially…the gore, the darkness, and the evil– these elements were made to be frightening not sexy. Much how “Interview with a Vampire” reveals how humanity can still live in such a terrifying creature, “American Vampire” shows the audience another perspective to this classic story of the vampire. Perhaps we are the real monsters, monstrosities only restricted by our moral constructs. More specifically, “American Vampire” challenges the reader to see the ugly in Americans and relish in the awful of it all. Rather than turning away from the bad and the ugly, or encouraging the reader to better themselves before they turn into metaphorical vampires, “American Vampire” let’s the reader feel completely comfortable with loving the hedonistic, bloodsucker Skinner Sweet. After all, he’s as American as you and me.