My Pretty Vampire’s Cartoonish Violence – The Portland Mercury

As a lover of cinema, I want Katie Skellys comics to be movies. I want it so bad. But with a healthy imaginationyou gotta do the voicesreading them as comics is great fun, too. Skellys newest graphic novel My Pretty Vampire is a sensual, colorful rampage in which the the cute plum boobs of the main character, Clover, are as much abstract shapes as sexy body wiggles, and the destructive gore she causes takes the form of a flat splat of red inside a clean, crisp line drawing. Both create curious impressions. Is a boob without definition still sexy? Does cartoon blood evoke horror?

Compared to Skellys previous graphic novels Nurse, Nurse and Operation Margarine, My Pretty Vampire represents a jumpfrom shades of gray to bright color, and from relatively PG-13 situations to sensual topless vampiric murder. It should be noted that sex has always been a part of Skellys stories. In Nurse, Nurse, space-traversing Gemma hooked up with plenty of cute guys, but coyly (theyre pictured smoking in bed). In recent years, Skellys confidence in portraying sex has grown, no doubt in relation to her ongoing erotic webcomic, Agent, which she creates for the website Slutist. Agent has evolved from sexy jokes to trippy spy vs. sex-magic hallucinations. The result, it seems, is that Skelly has grown more confident at incorporating sexuality into her other work.

Its easy to see My Pretty Vampire as a love letter to the 70s woman-centric vampire films of Jean Rollin (Fascination, Requiem for A Vampire). If Skelly possesses a weakness, its that her love for occult cinema causes her to possess the same low bar for making sense that cult cinema has. I wonder if the time spent on a beautiful curve of thigh doesnt rob us of precious panels that could have further fleshed out Clovers story. Another small drawback is that the size of My Pretty Vampire too closely resembles a childrens picture book. I would never presume to tell a parent something is inappropriate for their kid (let the kids read G. I. Joe!) but hip parents will wanna give it a pre-flip. My Pretty Vampire contains adult situationsnot to mention outfitsthat kids will need help understanding.

My Pretty Vampireby Katie Skelly (Fantagraphics)

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My Pretty Vampire’s Cartoonish Violence – The Portland Mercury

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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