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What Are You Reading?

Four-Color Fear

Welcome to another spook-tacular edition of What Are You Reading? Our special guest this week is writer Sam Costello, who operates and writes horror comics for the site Split Lip. If you’re looking for some spooky stories to read tonight, it’s a good place to start.

To see what Sam and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below, if you dare

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King: Vampires should be ‘stone killers,’ not ‘boy-toys with big dewy eyes’

American Vampire, Vol. 1

Bestselling author Stephen King, whose vast body of work includes Salem’s Lot, has some strong opinions about vampires. So it comes as little surprise that he would voice those views in an interview promoting the hardcover collection of American Vampire, the Vertigo series whose initial story arc he co-wrote, and in his introduction to the first volume.

“A traditional vampire is always a taker, and that’s the story of American expansion and laissez-faire and the rise of industrialism,” King tells USA Today, referring to his Western outlaw Skinner Sweet. “The idea that he wants to come back and get his vengeance and he wants to get it as fast as he can and as harshly as he can, that’s a very American desperado thing.”

In the collection’s foreword, reprinted at, King takes aim at the likes of Twilight and True Blood: “Here’s what vampires shouldn’t be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and only work at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes. What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance.”

Read the full introduction at American Vampire, Vol. 1, by King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, is in stores today.

Mickey Mouse at the Mountains of Madness

from "Mickey Against the Worms" by Vacon Sartirani


Good Lord, I sort of wish I hadn’t seen Vacon Sartirani’s “Mickey Mouse Against the Worms,” a monstrous mash-up of Mickey, Minnie, and gelatinous creatures out of Jim Woodring/H.P. Lovecraft/Stephen King’s “The Mist.” According to Sartirani, the piece is something of a racial allegory, which if my rudimentary Italian is any indication only makes it more troubling. You can check out the English translation at the link, provided you don’t much value your sanity and soul. And you can see more of Sartirani’s work at his website.

(via Monster Brains)

Stephen King’s website premieres American Vampire trailer

From the "American Vampire" trailer

From the "American Vampire" trailer

On the heels of this morning’s interview and preview, Stephen King’s official website has debuted a 40-second trailer, complete with an Omen-style musical score, for American Vampire, the author’s comic book-writing debut. The Vertigo series, by King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, premieres this week.

Stephen King talks comics, the dangerous undead and American Vampire

From "American Vampire" #5

From "American Vampire" #5

At The Daily Beast, Shannon Donnelly speaks with Stephen King about American Vampire, his collaboration with Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque that debuts this week from Vertigo, and offers a three-page preview of the first issue.

In the interview, King admits to the challenges of his comics-writing debut, and confesses his disappointment after learning that thought balloons have fallen out of vogue: “I got this kind of embarrassed call from the editors saying, ‘Ah, Steve, we don’t do that anymore.’ ‘You don’t do that anymore?’ I said. ‘No, when the characters speak, they speak. If they’re thinking, you try to put that across in the narration, in the little narration boxes.’ … I think it’s a shame to lose that arrow out of your quiver. One of the nice things about the written word as opposed to the spoken word in a movie is that you can go into a character’s thoughts. You do it in books all the time, right?”

Marvel to publish Stephen King’s N. comic

Stephen King's N.

Stephen King's N.

Marvel announced yesterday that they will adapt Stephen King’s N., a short story that appeared in the author’s latest collection, Just After Sunset, into a four-issue mini-series.

The story also appeared online as a motion comic last year, which was co-produced by Marvel. Writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Alex Maleev will turn the story of “something terrifying hidden in Ackerman’s Field” into a comic.

“It’s absolutely thrilling for Marvel to be working on ‘N.’ again and having the honor to publish it as a comic book miniseries,” said said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel senior vice president of development & planning, print, animation and digital media. “Both as a fan of the story and a producer on the ‘N.’ motion comic, I am absolutely psyched for the terrifying ride that Marc, Alex, and the editors have planned for readers!”

First look (I think) at the cover for American Vampire #1

American Vampire #1

American Vampire #1

Since Vertigo’s announcement late Sunday there’s been a lot of coverage in the comics and mainstream press about American Vampire, the upcoming monthly series whose first arc is co-written by none other than Stephen King.

But while we’ve seen several pieces of concept art by Rafael Albuquerque, I believe this is our first look at his cover for Issue 1, which debuts in March 2010. The art accompanies a brief Q&A in USA Today with writer Scott Snyder, who discusses the comic’s development, King’s involvement, and what he likes about Albuquerque’s art.

Stephen King helps to unleash American Vampire at Vertigo

Designs for Skinner and Pearl from "American Vampire," by Rafael Albuquerque

Designs for Skinner and Pearl from "American Vampire," by Rafael Albuquerque

Late last night Vertigo announced the March premiere of American Vampire, an ongoing series by short-story writer Scott Snyder and Blue Beetle artist Rafael Albuquerque.

But there’s an even bigger name involved — much bigger: Stephen King, who will write one of the two stories in the initial five-issue story arc.

According to the DC Comics imprint, American Vampire will introduce “a new breed of vampire — a more muscular and vicious species of vampire with distinctly American characteristics.”

Snyder’s storyline, set in the Jazz Age, will focus on Pearl, an ambitious woman who dreams of becoming a star. King will provide the origin of the first American vampire — Skinner Sweet, a murderer and bank robber of the 1880s.

“I love vampire stories, and the idea of following the dark exploits of a uniquely American vampire really lit up my imagination,” King is quoted as saying. “The chance to do the origin story — to be ‘present at the creation’ — was a thrill. I owe big thanks to Scott Snyder for letting me share his vision, and sip from his bucket of blood.”

The Daily Beast has more details, including background from Snyder, who has written a Human Torch one-shot and an upcoming X-Men arc for Marvel.

For more, see Comic Book Resource’s coverage.

Straight for the art | Del Rey reveals Talisman cover

Talisman Issue #0

Talisman Issue #0

You may have heard that Del Rey was planning to offer a graphic novel adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s best selling novel, The Talisman, featuring art by Tony Shasteen and a script by Robin Furth.  Now Del Rey has revealed that Massimo Carnevale (known for his work on Y: The Last Man) will be the cover artist for the monthly series. What’s more, a special preview ssue, as seen above, will be released at this year’s Comic-Con.

Full press release from Del Rey after the jump.

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