Vamps – Elaine Lee

Five sexy motorbike riding vampire girls. A bored and lazy writer could create something truly dire with that premise. But a talented female author could really pull a rabbit out of the hat with this setup. And that’s what we have here.

Like most monster stories it’s about the humanity. This is a moving and emotional tale of a woman’s struggle against a world stacked against her. Our lead character’s thoughts and narration is a big part of the book and it is eloquent to the point of being poetic. There are streams of consciousness, intense feelings, poignant observations and innermost thoughts. This is very grown-up stuff indeed. There is also a dramatic and tense storyline: a really thrilling journey whose end you can picture, but not be certain of.

The art is ok but the colouring is disappointing. It is that flat, paint by numbers block colouring from the bad old days of four-color comics – something Vertigo seems famous for. It won’t distract you from the gripping ride but could have been so much more. There is a great candle-lit scene at the end that shows you just how creatively you can push this limited technique however. There are also some astonishing full colour Brian Bolland covers.

There is an extensive afterword by the author discussing how the book came to be.

For creating a work that truly defines the “mature” label I give this a Double Thumbs Up!

201/165

Tomorrow: Tomb Raider: Pieces of Zero – Dan Jurgens

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