Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story

I have loved Interview with the Vampire since I was a preteen. The story captured my attention and has become something of a security blanket in my personal library. If I want something familiar and comforting, I read it, even if the story itself isn't very comforting.

I've missed Anne Rice's vampires for the past number of years since she stopped writing them and while I know Claudia is a character of the past I still loved her and wanted to hear more from this child vampire. I wasn't, at first, entirely sure if I liked the idea of a graphic novel for Claudia's story; see, I've only ever read one manga series and that's the closest I've come to any books of that nature, graphic or otherwise. There was a lot of buzz in the Ricean fan world about this book and it gained my attention and made me rather excited -- I couldn't help it. But then the first number of pages for the book were released and I instantly fell in love.

The sepia tones, black, white and blood red work so well with the story. Blood is something important and primary in the lives of these vampires and the sepia sets the stage for time gone by. The artwork is beautiful and Witter truly captured the personalities of Lestat, Louis and Claudia. Lestat with his dashing looks and constant smirk, Louis seeming sad or pressing a hand to his mouth, and Claudia as the innocent child vampire turned cunning and dangerous -- the artist depicted Claudia perfectly.

If you do not know of the character, know this: she was made a vampire while still a small child. This small child, however, had a mind that still grew and matured. During her vampire existence she went from being the child vampire (depicted in the drawings with wide eyed innocence) to a woman trapped in a child's body and that is what blew me away. Witter drew this child lounging as a woman would, her expressions holding lust, anger, and even hatred that only an adult could feel but it was on a child's face. The detail of wardrobe and other lesser characters was not forgotten and the story line, while brief, was to the point and still clear of Claudia's feelings and experiences.

For those who know of Claudia's story, how it begins and ends, allow me to continue -- for others this may be a spoiler -- but at the end of the book, after Claudia dies, my favorite and most heartfelt page that only a Ricean who has read Interview with the Vampire will understand (not those who have only watched the movie) is a single drawing on an otherwise blank page of Lestat's hands clutching Claudia's gown.

I was thrilled by this book and overall impressed. At some point I hope to read Interview with the Vampire and go back and forth between that book and the graphic novel to compare. I went through the book so quickly, devoured it so hungrily, that I worry I did not appreciate all the artwork and it is something to be appreciated. So I say unto you, dear reader, take your time with this book and appreciate every aspect of it, it deserves that attention.

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