Simon Anders just hasn’t been the same since his life was saved from the hands of two vampire sisters. Everyone sees it, him most of all. He is cursed having the spirit forces of the sisters within him and driving him slowly to rage and madness. He must do something about it. He has to do something about it before it is too late. B.P.R.D. Vampire documents those efforts by Anders to trace back what had happened in 1948 to him and to possibly bring back redemption or more importantly, revenge to those involved. The journey will lead him to communist block Europe and he will encounter ancient vampires, witches, and possibly the vampire sisters themselves in the flesh again. As with any “From the Pages of Hellboy” trade, the artwork to B.P.R.D. Vampire is simply phenomenal. Between Mike Mignola, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon, art is rendered that can only be described as “hauntingly beautiful”. The shading and shadowing effects allow the reader to go back to the days of the old horror comics of the 1940s; very creepy, yet very beautiful to look at as well. I have always loved how the visuals are used in these titles to make all the people in this world a little dark whether they are good or bad people. It gives an “essence of mankind” feeling that sticks with a reader well after the book is read.
The writing here is kind of hard to explain. It is sort of a “gothic noir” feeling and tone. As we follow Anders on his quest, it has that feeling of an old school detective, roaming the dark streets in search of answers. But, the cities here have been replaced by Iron Curtain drab landscapes of darkness and despair, which only adds to the emotion felt by Anders as he reaches his destination. It is a wonderful effect that I find very prevalent in all of the Mike Mignola works that makes him such a master of his craft. All of his works are “experiences” rather than “reads”. You get caught up into that world of darkness and like our protagonist here with Simon Anders, we must search for answers before the madness overtakes us completely and it is too late.
During the chapters covered in this trade, we are introduced and reflected back upon to several characters. Even Hellboy makes a brief (very brief) cameo and he is about the most colorful character in the book art wise. Everyone else here are drab, dark, and some are even downright evil in their renderings. Mr. Anders does find what he is looking for in this book, but it might not be exactly what he is looking for. It’s safe to say without giving away anything that this story is far from over, which is to our good fortune.
For its $19.99 price and well over 130 + pages of fantastic story and artwork, B.P.R.D. Vampire is a sound investment to a fan of great horror comics. You will not be disappointed at all and as with any Mignola title, you will be awed, creeped out, and thoroughly entertained. It is essential reading for any fan of the B.P.R.D. universe and helps to continue expanding the panorama of the darkness that lies everywhere.
Writers: Mike Mignola, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon Artists: Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $19.99 Release Date: 11/27/13