Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

Vampires, Vampires, Vampires II
posted January 12, 2017

imageCreator: Madeline McGrane
Publishing Information: Self-Published Mini-Comic, 24 pages, 2016.
Ordering: You might start here.

This was recommended to me by one Mr. Jaime Hernandez, who liked the art when he picked up a copy at Comic Arts Los Angeles. It was a repeat purchase for Hernandez, who picked up the the first issue at the 2015 show. It's easy to see what Jaime's responding to art-wise. This is visually accomplished material: loosely drawn figures that stay on models, and backgrounds that say "this person can draw anything -- or at least their version of it." The figures are particularly appealing; they have a bounce that one tends to see in modern animation, and while these are attractive people being depicted they feel well within the realm of the kind of body types one might see every day.

There are three features in this issue. The first is a tale-told-by, old-world short that ends in fizzy fashion even as the temperature drops several degrees in the room depicted. The second is a longer vampires-at-the-beach story which turns out to be a vampires-expand-their-social-circle-to-include-werewolves tale, to the cartoonist's credit. McGrane gets a lot out of depicting the contrasts between high-concept and quotidian reality. The pages have a nice rhythm, too, full of attractive blacks and characters that physically react to others without lurching into pantomime. The final story McGrane provides is an Ed Gorey-like series of images featuring vampire children from three different traditions of the undead. It is perfectly adorable.

I believe you can get a peek at most of these stories in the tumblr linked-to above, they're well-suited to that reading experience as well, due to their breezy nature. If the refinement between issues continues, these should be routinely formidable comics and a fine excuse to head to downtown LA every early December.