Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Little Vampire (Volume 1)

Joann Sfar
The first collection of Joann Sfar's beloved all-ages comic, as published by First Second Books, contains three Little Vampire stories, the first two of which have been published in America previously by Simon & Schuster. The stories follow a young vampire who strikes up a friendship with a human boy Michael, and the misadventures of the two and their other ghoulish friends, including Phantomato, the red ghost dog. In the first story, Little Vampire Goes To School, Little Vampire meets Michael for the first time as he attends night class in the same classroom that Michael attends during the day. The two of them write notes to each other in a notebook until Little Vampire's correspondence is discovered, and the Captain of the Dead wishes to speak to the boy about guarding their secret. Michael has so much fun with the ghouls and monsters that he continues to come back each night that he can. Next comes Little Vampire Does Kung-Fu, which focuses on Michael as he goes on a quest to learn Kung-Fu to fight back a bully at school. Unfortunately, his monster friends have eaten the bully, leaving Little Vampire and Michael to find the means to restore him. The last story, untranslated in America before its appearance in this volume, is Little Vampire and the Canine Defenders Club, in which three dogs escape a testing facility and seek refuge in the mansion where Little Vampire lives.

As always, Joann Sfar proves that he's an amazing talent. I'm in awe of the shear volume of material he continues to produce (I think I heard that he's produced over 100 graphic novels since the early nineties), all of which I've read being of high quality. I'm grateful that First Second is such an advocate for his work, and I'm very glad that they've added this book to their impressive library, as I've been wanting to read Little Vampire for awhile now, and it turns out that it's probably the best thing I've read from Joann Sfar yet. It's creative and wacky and plenty of fun, and I'm hoping to hear an announcement of another volume very soon.

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