Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

In Guilty Pleasures #1 (of 12)
Laurell K. Hamilton, Stacie M. Ritchie & Brett Booth

The debut issue of this comic has already sold out, but Marvel has announced a second printing, so you still have a chance to get your hands on the comic adaptation of Laurell K. Hamilton's best-selling Anita Blake book. Guilty Pleasures was the novel that introduced millions of readers to the sassy, headstrong Anita Blake, who is an animator, and raises the dead for a living, but gets herself in deep with warring vampires and the like. She doesn't like vampires much, has some trust issues with them, and has already killed fourteen of them, thus she has been dubbed the "Executioner" by their kind.

Guilty Pleasures really lent itself to comics nicely. Its world is pretty superhero-ish. The world is aware of monsters, and has put into motion laws that protect them as citizens, etc. Plus, Hamilton's style is very visual, so the transition isn't very jarring here under the guiding hand of Ritchie. Having read this novel nearly five years ago, I remember things somewhat, and it seems like a pretty faithful adaptation, with pretty much everything I remember at this point being carried out through illustrations. This issue pretty much sets up the world that Anita lives in before she goes to a vampire strip club named Guilty Pleasures for a bachelorette party, and a lot of the protagonist's inner dialogue seems to be copied directly from Hamilton's novel, witty and sharp.

This comic reminded me that Hamilton's universe and characters are really neat. I don't know why I stopped reading them after the second book in the series, Circus of the Damned, but I really enjoyed revisiting this story in this format, and I definitely plan on continuing reading this mini-series, and hopefully I'll stick with it long enough to get into some new material. Booth's art is really nice - Anita's design is really cool too, and everything seems to be paced about perfectly at this point. A

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