How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
Bram Stoker’s Dracula may be the most famous vampire novel, but it wasn’t the first: James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood, published in serialized issues in the mid-1840s, prefigured not only modern vampire stories but modern emo-vampire stories, with a fanged hero who drinks people’s blood and feels just terrible about it afterward. You can read the book on Project Gutenberg if you have a couple of months to spare — it’s over 800 pages long — but outside the shadowy regions of the Internet, Varney is pretty obscure.
Until now! Writer Scott Massino and artist Marcio Takara (whose credits include Incorruptible and The Incredibles, both for BOOM! Studios) are raising funds on Kickstarter for a Varney the Vampire comic that restores this lost character to his rightful place in popular culture. Massino’s Varney is an undead rock guitarist who is determined to reclaim his legacy. He bribes his screenwriter nephew Simon to write a movie script about his life, but a coven of witches is getting in the way. From the pitch:
“Shadow of the Vampire” meets “Get Shorty” and “Crossroads” in this hilarious and horrifying take on the vampire genre that blends the garish pop humor of such adult cartoons as “Family Guy” and “South Park.”
The project seems to be pretty well thought out—these guys don’t just have a charcter and a plot, they have a theme as well—and, according to this local-boy-makes-good article, Massino has the first story arc completely worked out. The first issue is done, and the Kickstarter funding will go toward the next two. They hope to either pitch it to Image or publish it themselves; either way, this is a pair to watch.