Monday, October 26, 2009

NEW Stephen King comics from VERTIGO!

This is pretty damn cool news!
(More of my thoughts and comments after the copy and paste)

Via the Vertigo blog, news of a new vampire series, AMERICAN VAMPIRE, written by well-regarded horror writer Scott Snyder with art by rising star Rafael Albuquerque, and stories written by one Stephen King.


The new ongoing series, AMERICAN VAMPIRE, will introduce readers to a new breed of vampire—a more muscular and vicious species of vampire with distinctly American characteristics. The series’ first story arc, to be told over the course of five issues, will feature two different stories, one written by Snyder, the other by King. Snyder’s storyline is one of decadence and deception and Jazz Age glamour. Pearl is an ambitious modern woman with starlet dreams. She frequents Hollywood’s speakeasies and dance-halls searching for her first big break, only to find something far more sinister waiting for her. King’s story provides the origin of the very first American vampire: Skinner Sweet, a bank robbing, murdering cowboy of the 1880s. Skinner is stronger and faster than previous vampires; he has rattlesnake fangs and is powered by…. the sun? Following the conclusion of the first story arc, Snyder and Albuquerque will trace Skinner’s bloodline through various decades of American history.


More info via The Beat:

The Daily Beast has some more art, some of the origin story of the project:
When American Vampire was in the early stages of being greenlit, the editors at Vertigo asked Snyder if he knew anyone that would be willing to give a blurb to the project. Snyder had maintained a friendship with Stephen King after King had written a blurb for Voodoo Heart, so he sent King what he had so far of the series.

“He came back saying he loved it and he’d actually be willing to do a few issues at some point if we wanted him to,” Snyder says. “I went back to Vertigo and pretty much made sure that they were gonna take it regardless. It was really important to me that they weren’t going to take it because Steve was involved, because I’m the one who has to carry the series beyond Steve.”


This is great news for Stephen King fans as well as comic fans in general. All of King's forays into comics thus far have been adaptations of his existing work. (Marvel has published several very successful Dark Tower mini-series, and a few Stand mini-series thus far. DelRey is starting their Talisman comics very soon too. ) This would mark King's very first ALL NEW original story and characters for the comic book medium we know and love. This could possibly prove to be one of the best-selling Vertigo series of all time. This might also mark the first time that Vertigo will offer hardcover collections FIRST for a title BEFORE the paperbacks. Vertigo has been slowly offering hardcover GN of some of their best-selling series, way way after the fact. For example, Fables is on volume 12 in the paperbacks and volume 1 of the hardcover was released last month. Each volume of the Vertigo hardcovers contains two volumes of the paperback. They did a similar thing for Y and for Preacher. Well after the series was over, the first Preacher hardcover was published a few months back. Y's first hardcover volume shipped for the X-mas holiday last year. Marvel, on the other hand, has released the Stephen King Dark Tower collections in hardcover ONLY, the same with the Stand. Marvel's normal formula is to releases a paperback release of the hardcover volume of the same name, about 2-3 months after the hardcover release. The first Dark Tower HC volume came out 2 years ago. Similar to the Harry Potter novels, there is little reason to publish paperback editions of a book when the hardcovers continue to do well. Those first three volumes of the Harry Potter books were in hardcover ONLY for a few years before the paperbacks were finally released.

One other note about the future collection of this yet-to-be released, not even officially solicited series, American Vampire. Traditionally, Vertigo releases all of their volume ones for ongoing Vertigo series in a super affordable $9.99 edition. There are exceptions to this of course (Madam Xanadu volume 1 leaps to mind) because this is a newer development, sometime in the last 5-7 years, starting with Fables volume 1 if I'm not mistaken. I don't think they were able to offer this attractive price point for Madam Xanadu because the first story-arc is longer than the normal initial story arc. Books that I can think of that started off with a $9.99 collection: Scalped, Fables, DMZ, Crossing Midnight, American Virgin, Exterminators, House of Mystery, 100 Bullets, the forth-coming Unwritten collection, Sandman Mystery Theatre, and Young Liars. I am therefore guessing that Vertigo will not release a $9.99 paperback edition of American Vampires because they will not be able to afford to do so. Stephen King is not cheap labor, so they may well try to milk the hardcover for as long as possible before releasing a paperback edition, and when the paperback is finally released it will most likely be in the neighborhood of $14.99, but it is a little premature to start guessing about this kind of thing. More food for thought: American Vampire could well be the first $3.99 monthly release from Vertigo also, again because of the price tag for Stephen King.

Much to speculate about, and much to look forward to with this announcement!

This new American Vampire comic could well turn out to be the True Blood of comics. I'm definately interested to check this series out.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for all the info, I was looking for this book in paperback, and your page ha helped allot, thanks