by Christopher Wolf, Justin Wayne (Viper, 2010)

Nosferatu, the classic black-and-white vampire film, is fertile ground for a modern interpretation. Christopher Wayne had the notion to recast the story in modern times, with the lead characters who are menaced by the horrifying Count Orlock reimagined as a young lesbian couple.

Unfortunately, Wayne spent so much time building the couple's "cute" factor that he rushed through the important "Nosferatu" parts of the story. Also unfortunately, artist Justin Wayne -- and, to an even greater extent, cover artist Tim Seeley -- spoiled Wayne's new perspective by drawing the two girls as cheesecake fantasies for adolescent male readers. (Seeley in particular gives both girls beachball-sized boobs and dresses one in tantalizingly sheer lingerie.)

The book is supposed to be "edgy," I suppose, because the ladies are both pierced and, you know, gay. Me, I'd have preferred a story that focused on the plot, rather than the characters' sexual preferences. It seems to me, however, that Wolf was so proud of himself for spotlighting a lesbian couple, he felt it necessary to thrust that aspect to the foreground of the tale.

Poor Orlock suffers. And it's a shame, because he's written and illustrated well. Maybe someday he'll get his own book, so he won't have to play second fiddle to the supporting characters and their relationship drama.

review by
Tom Knapp

15 January 2011

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