Vampires? In May? Why, First Second, You Are a Cheeky Publisher, Aren't You?
One of my favorite graphic novel publishers, First Second, has declared May "Vampire Month" in one of those audacious out-of-season moves that means October/Halloween is now officially "Island Vacation Month". So far, the extraordinarily cool First Second blog has brought readers a downloadable vampire kit, and links to features at Comics Worth Reading, Colleen Mondor's blog, and Interactive Reader.
In heavily related news, First Second is promoting Little Vampires by Joann Sfar this month. The book collects a previously published story about a vampire going to school with two new adventures. The artwork is stunning, with crisp, deep colors and genius-level compositions. These are sly, funny, often slapstick narratives that adults and children alike will find delightful--all in one neat, new trade paper edition put together with First Second's usual attention to detail.
In spirit if not style, Little Vampires reminds me of one of my favorite kid's books: Bunnicula, the tale of a carrot-draining vampiric rabbit. Both are mischievous and hilarious, for one thing. Narrated by the family dog, Harold, and enriched by the clever cat Chester, Bunnicula recounts Harold and Chester's investigations into the new rabbit in the house. When tomatoes wind up being sucked dry, suspicions arise that the the bunny might not be as innocent as it seems. Although it seems unlikely anyone hasn't heard of Bunnicula by now, definitely check it out. It's a classic.
As is Little Vampires, frankly. Sfar is just a brilliant artist and storyteller.