Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life Sucks, by Jessica Abel

Before you run screaming from the vampire fiction, STOP! This is not your usual vampire book. Jessica Abel is quite a storytelling talent, and this is an off-kilter vampire graphic novel. A quick blurb:
Dave is a convenience store clerk, and he just so happens to be a vampire. His Master, a hard-ass from the old country, makes him a vampire so he'll have a dependable night shift worker. Dave is skinny, nerdy, and has a crappy job and a crappy love life. He's a vegetarian--subsisting on bagged plasma and Blood Brew (blood beer). The graphic novel really kicks off when his crush, Rosa--a gothic hottie--starts to show some mild interest in him. Dave ends up having to face off against a bigger, richer, hotter vampire for Rosa's love, but that's not the only complication.
I loved this graphic novel for subverting my expectations of vampires. In general they're not rich or terribly mysterious. They're just normal people in all their dorkiness and with all the same old idiosyncrasies that any human would have.
Life Sucks has a very B-movie feel to it. As I was reading, some of the angst reminded me a great deal of Daniel Clowes' graphic novel, Ghost World. It was weird and pretty cool in is weirdness. I was sad to see it end, but I'll certainly keep an eye out for more of Jessica Abel's work. This was also a perfect choice for the Read-a-Thon since it was a quick read, involving, and very easy on the eyes.
This is my final selection for the RIP IV Challenge.

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