American Vampire Anthology #1
Writer(s): Scott Snyder, Jason Aaron, Rafael Albuquerque, Jeff Lemire, Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, Gail Simone, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Greg Rucka
Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Declan Shalvey, Ivo Milazzo, Ray Fawkes, Becky Cloonan, Franceso Francavilla, Tula Lotay, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, JP Leon,
Colours: Dave McCaig, Jordie Bellaire,
Letters: Steve Wands, Jared K. Fletcher, Taylor Esposito, Travis Lanham, Dezi Sienty,
Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Back in 1976, after touring for 25 years on the road, The Band decided to call it quits. However, over the years they picked up one or two friends they knew they couldn’t just say ‘goodbye’ to. So The Band decided to put on a farewell concert, with all their friends and go out in a grand fashion that was becoming of their stature. And so, on that fateful thanksgiving weekend in 1976, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Hawkins, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond and more shared the stage with The Band for a farewell concert whose line-up is unprecedented to this day. It was called The Last Waltz.
Flash-forward some 30 plus years later and you may notice the guest list from The Last Waltz shares an uncanny similarity with the talent involved in the American Vampire Anthology. Never before have we seen so many comic professionals, all at the top of their game, come together and release a collection of stories quite like this. Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, the creators of American Vampire have assembled a veritable who’s who of comic superstars and the results are spectacular.
Featuring a collection of eight stories, all written and drawn by the talent listed above, this anthology carries the spirit of The Last Waltz, yet instead of a farewell, readers are treated to a great big ‘guess whose back?’, a reminder that while American Vampire has gone on hiatus, its glorious return is right around the corner.
The tales within the Anthology are self-contained stories about the series’ various vampires throughout North America. While some tie directly into the series, giving fans more than one gasp of revelation, the stand-alone’s further cement the creative genius of the series creators. Snyder and Albuquerque have given their friends a sandbox of horror to play in, and not a one comes up short.
Highlights include Becky Cloonan and her tale Greed which she has both scripted and drawn. She tells the story of how Skinner comes to be in Hollywood and her work, as always, leaves readers wanting more. If she was made the artist of every book that ever comes out from now on, the comic world would be a better place. And of course there’s Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes wonderfully canuck tale entitled Canadian Vampire which sees an ex-Mountie/bounty hunter save a Cree child from some vicious settlers. Sharply written and drawn in glorious water-colours by Fawkes, it’s enough to make you wonder why a Canadian Vampire series isn’t already in the mix.
American Vampire Anthology #1 is a rare treat. With this body of talent and this quality of work, the Anthology will no doubt be talked about for years to come. It’s 70 plus pages of classic work from today’s top tier talent and a book worthy of any fine art collection. More than a must-own, it’s a must-treasure.