Review: Vamplets Vol. 1 – The Nightmare Nursery

Vamplets is as cute as it looks on the cover. My first thought when I looked at it was that it was a marketing departments dream due to the vampyre babies just waiting to be put on shirts and made into dolls. The potential is definitely there, but thankfully the story isn’t a hollowed husk with that concept at its core. It’s an entertaining story that’s so cute your teeth will hurt. The story starts off by explaining where vampyre’s come from which is probably the funniest sentence I’ve written in a while. Rather than the usual spiel of the birds and the bees all it takes is for a male vampyre to tell a female vampyre that he loves her and then poof! Out of thin air a vampyre baby will appear with a diaper and some kind of personality already assigned to it. There have been a ton of Vampyre births as of late and the vampyre’s don’t want to take the 777 years to raise them which has led all of them to be dump at the Nightmare Nursery.

To view this probably you have to think of the Vampyre’s, Werewolves and Zombies that inhabit the world of Gloomvania as the mega super rich. They don’t raise their own children so even if it took a day they simply couldn’t be bothered. The Night Nursery doesn’t have a Governess at the moment so the Grimm Reaper has been assigned to find one to raise the displaced children. The Reaper decides to outsource the job to the human world at the suggestion of his man-servant.

Vamplets Vol. 1In the human world we meet Destiny Harper as she meets with her high school counselor in what is an obvious set up to display her lack of a career path and that she’s good with kids. We go through the rest of her day with Destiny narrating life and her average day with includes a stop at the local pawn shop that happens to take weird shit that no one else will. She’s drawn to a locket and decides to purchase it.

On the way home the messenger from Gloomvania is also drawn to the locket and reveals its giant ass moth form to Destiny. As she reaches out to touch him he freaks out thinking that she’s going to hurt him and drops his scroll with the job posting and flies away. She decides to go to the address the job listing says and unknowingly takes the job as the Night Nursery Governess.

I’ve skipped plenty in-between this and after, but I felt it was important to pull the trigger on where the story was going. I’m sure you could see it for yourself since it’s pretty obvious. The thing about the story is that it’s not trying to hide anything. Everything is pretty plain to see. It relies on the characters and their dialogue to entertain you rather than plot twists and surprises. The Vamplets actually don’t have much of an appearance in this issue. I thought that was kind of strange, but I’m sure the second volume will include the babies more now that the world and plot has been established. Gloomvania is a bit like the wizarding world in Harry Potter, but with monsters. The characters aren’t deep, but they’re interesting and entertaining.

The characters have a manga influence, but overall it works decently well with the story. The insects all share a pretty similar design, but I think that might actually be intentional to untie them as a group in the same way the vamps and werewolves are. The art style is very cutesy even down to the coloring which uses purples and dark pinks. The visual storytelling reminded me of cartoon with the way the panel set up carried over from one to the next in a fluid motion.

I really see this title being more for younger readers. For me a true all-ages title is something readers of any age can pick up and enjoy because it offers something to their age group. I did find enjoyment in the story, but there was nothing deeper than the face value of the story which could only hold my interest for so long. Even then I think that it’s something that parents can enjoy with their kids or just a good starter comic for young readers looking to start somewhere with comics.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Gayle Middleton and Dave Dwonch Artist: Amanda Coronado Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment Price: $19.95 Release Date: 10/2/13