Scott Snyder’s been exploring comics for a year now, and that exploration is best seen in this first year of American Vampire. Every story has had a different page count, with this being the first done-in-one of the series, and it’s pretty darn good.
It takes place between Snyder and King’s stories in the first arc, starring Skinner Sweet, which means this is actually the most we’ve seen Snyder write the character. Snyder uses captions to give us Skinner’s colorful commentary on all the events taking place. It’s always fun spending time in the mind of a lunatic, right? Skinner Sweet is one of those characters like Frank Miller’s Marv. Everyone loves him because we’re always laughing with him. In fact, perhaps the funniest moment of the series takes place in this issue. Unfortunately, Danijel Zezelj doesn’t quite sell the scene.
Zezelj marks the second filler artist on this series. He seems to be one of Vertigo’s pinch hitters, since Zezelj drew an issue of Scalped a few months ago. While Rafael Albuquerque and Mateus Santolouco are studio mates in Brazil, Zezelj’s style is a fairly large departure, and will probably be found disagreeable by many of this series’ fans. Zezelj uses details sparingly, often rendering figures that look more like silhouettes. As I said, Zezelj doesn’t quite capture Snyder’s comedy, but he does do a great job of capturing the horror and loss in this issue. The great Dave McCaig’s colors are still around, and he helps tremendously. He matches Zezelj’s style, making this the most sun-beaten comic on the stands.
I hope all these format samplings have benefited Snyder. I definitely think he makes the most out of brevity, with this done-in-one being a highlight of the series.