I’ll be honest, it was Stephen King’s name on the front cover which truly swung me to read this. Wanting to see what the great man would do in a different form (although I have seen his film, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, which is also a different form – but I try to forget about that). However, once I got into the pages, I actually found that the King parts were my least favourite.
Telling duel stories: one the creation of a new vampire in the old west – it’s notorious outlaw with the name of Skinner Sweet (a wonderful name) who becomes the creature – and the other, some of the adventures he gets up to at the end of the 1920s, at the dying end of silent Hollywood. This character isn’t just a new vampire though, he’s a new type of vampire – one who can walk in the daylight and has abilities far beyond the staid European old vampires who inadvertently created him.
King’s half is the old west set story, the creation of the vampire. And whereas it’s good, and horror westerns is a genre mashup I always feel there should be more of, I wasn’t blown away by it. It didn’t feel like there was anything revolutionary in it, all the beats of the vampire story and the western revenge story that you’d imagine such a story would hit, it is happy to hit. No, what truly gripped me more was Scott Snyder’s jazz age set sequel, bringing vampires to the age of the vamp. Just before Bela Lugosi made a big impression in DRACULA, I honestly can’t think of another vampire story in that place and time, and that’s maybe why it feels so vibrant, visceral and surprising.
Rafael Albuquerque’s (another wonderful name, incidentally) art is superb throughout. The whole looks fantastic. I don’t read a lot of comics, but I’m glad I picked up this one. Going forward though, I’m more excited my Snyder’s version than King’s. And I wasn’t expected to be saying that.
My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free. A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!