I've written quite a bit in anticipation of the new series from Vertigo, American Vampire. Written by Scott Snider and none other than Stephen King, with art by Rafael Albuquerque,the story tells us of the birth of a brand new species of vampire. When a smarmy outlaw, Skinner Sweet, is attacked by an old enemy with a familiar curse, the first American vampire is born. Bear with me here, but it's a vampire powered by the sun. I know, I winced at it too, but Sweet becomes a more vicious breed of bloodsucker than his European ilk. The other half of the tale features Pearl Jones, a struggling young actress in 1920s Los Angeles. But when her big break brings throws her into the clutches of toothy evil, her Hollywood dream goes sour, to say the least.
The first portion, Pearl's story, is told in flashback. It begins with Pearl, clinging to life in a pile of corpses as a mysterious assailant dumps them into a ravine. Cut back to a few hours earlier. It's the golden age of Hollywood, with all of the glitz that entails. Unfortunately, there's nothing terribly interesting about Pearl or those around her. They're staples of the era. The struggling starlet, trying to make a go of it in Hollywood. I'm guessing the real meat to her character will be found when she gets her fangs. She haplessly stumbles into an ominous end, one that leaves hints laying around like bear traps, but is still exceptionally creepy. It all moves along at a brisk pace, shadowed with the mystery of a ragged stranger hanging around outside her apartment, a rogue we'll come to know as Skinner Sweet.