American Vampire #34


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American Vampire #34


  • Words: Scott Snyder
  • Art: Rafael Albuquerque
  • Colors: Dave McCaig
  • Story Title: The Gray Trader
  • Publisher: Vertigo Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 2, 2013

The “final” issue of American Vampire teems with foreshadowing of what’s to come in Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s modern-age American fang-lore.

An elderly woman sits in her home when a stranger comes to visit her, and suddenly both their worlds seemingly tear apart at the seams. The young man is Gene, nephew to Will Bunting, author of Bad Blood, which exposed to the world the concept of vampires. Gene is to continue where his uncle left off, but first, he needs to know if a theory of his is true –– that a great evil known only as the Gray Trader stalks the great American landscape –– and only this mysterious woman can tell him for certain. But will she?

When I first heard the news at NYCC from Scott Snyder himself that American Vampire would go on hiatus beginning with issue #34, I, like just about everyone else in the room at the time, was momentarily staked in the heart. But Snyder’s explanation then, as well as in his column “On the Ledge” at the end of this issue made perfect sense: he and co-creator Rafael Albuquerque need to “recharge and […] get far enough ahead on the coming stories to allow [Albuquerque] to draw more of the arcs.” Well, American Vampire #34 certainly serves as a proper whetstone on which to sharpen our anticipation for the second stage of this truly original series. This particular tale has everything in it we’ve come to love about and expect from American Vampire –– dialogue that’s allowed to come to a boil, action that causes us sit up straight in our chairs, and eerie images of the mysterious “Gray Trader,” along with talk of lore we recall from prior issues. And it all culminates in one fiery two-page spread that opens our eyes for a ghastly glimpse of things to come, brilliantly expressed by Albuquerque and Dave McCaig!

American Vampire will be missed during this (brief) interim, but there’s no doubt from issue #34 that Snyder and Albuquerque will make a magnificent return to the series in 2013.

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