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THE VAMPIRE'S CHRISTMAS
By JOSEPH MICHAEL LINSNER, MIKE DUBISCH (Image; 2003)

A confession: I’ve long since had my fill of vampires. That probably explains why this graphic novel, exploring the tortured existence of a vampire expat, didn’t do much for me. If you’ve ever read INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY, THE ICE MAIDEN or quite a few other vampire-themed narratives you’ll have a good idea what to expect from THE VAMPIRE’S CHRISTMAS, whose only truly novel element is its Christmas Eve time frame.

     It’s then that we’re introduced to Esque, a British punk who was vampirized at a Sex Pistols concert back in ‘77, and figured in two previous efforts by this book’s writer and illustrator Joseph Michael Linsner: “Dead,” from CRY OF DAWN #6, and “Vicariosity,” from CRYPT OF DAWN #1 (no, I haven’t read either, and so can’t say how the present volume fits into the Esque mythos). Here Esque finds himself afoot in New York City, desperate for human blood.

     His quest for the red stuff takes him to a Christmas party, where Esque sets his sights on a woman he mistakenly thinks is single. When this supposition proves wrong he heads for Macy’s in search of prospective victims, but finds only a lot of off-putting consumerism. Not even a voluptuous sexpot he dubs Dingbat Sally, whose visual depiction provides the type of voluptuous female pulchritude for which Linsner has become known, offers any relief for Esque. Eventually he’s reduced to attacking a local perv he dubs Waldo the pedophile, but his thirst remains unsated. Not to worry, though, as it is Christmastime, and a miracle of sorts is in the offing.

     Linsner’s artwork, painted by Mike Dubisch, is gorgeous, with impeccably proportioned and detailed layouts, marred only by Linsner’s penchant for overtly cartoony facial expressions. Yet he has a great eye for sexiness, and also provides some impacting grue (the sight of a woman’s slashed throat is a little too realistic for comfort). So if you’re not completely sick of bloodsuckers THE VAMPIRE’S CHRISTMAS should at least partially satisfy.

     

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