Unfortunately for Pearl, she discovers that vampires are real – on the night that she dies. However, instead of staying dead, she becomes the second of a new species of vampire: American vampires.
American Vampire primarily follows Pearl’s story, but also explores the history of her maker, Skinner Sweet, and the stories of those whose lives have been affected by him.
I’m not gonna lie: generally speaking, vampires don’t really do anything for me. They’ve been done so many times, across so many mediums, that I just find it hard to engage in yet another version of the same story.
So, I was a little surprised when I found myself quite enjoying American Vampire.
I think there are two main reasons that I’m hooked on this series:
1. There’s a strong female lead, which I think has been well-established as a draw-card for me.
2. While there is something of the same-old, same-old in how some of the vampires are portrayed in American Vampire, there’s enough variation – and enough action – to make those more romantic elements of vampiric lore not stand out as much.
The design of the vampires definitely goes a long way to helping with this latter point: because American vampires are not what you’re used to. They’re more animalistic in the way that they look, and fight. And, boy, do they fight.
I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that the characters are well-developed, because – true to the genres that American Vampire draws from – these characters are somewhat more archetypical than original; but there’s enough emotional weight given to the main characters’ actions that, in combination with their histories, it ends up working.
It also helps that the various story arcs in American Vampire read like Westerns, and spy stories – more generally, like ‘old time’ American stories. There’s just something enjoyable action-packed about them.
There’s nothing particularly complex about the story arcs, and their outcomes are generally pretty predictable, but there’s something about them that just makes them great for a bit of escapism. And it’s mostly for this reason that I’ll be making sure I keep up with new issues of American Vampire.