Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Full disclosure. I’m not a big “Vampire” guy. Unless, of course, we’re talking the 1931 Browning/Legosi “Dracula”. Although I did kind of like the original Fright Night films. But Vampires nowadays just don’t do it for me. I don’t care for Buffy or Bella. Furthermore, when it comes to horror comics, I rarely find them effective. I mean, I don’t even read (or watch) Walking Dead (gasp!). I know, I know. A shocking admission to be sure. So it was very surprising, refreshing and somewhat unnerving when I found myself on the edge of my seat reading IDW’s Transfusion: Vampires versus Robots by Steve Niles and Menton 3.

This is truly an exciting, creepy, haunting story with some of the most incredibly lovely and horrifying art I have seen in years, if not decades. Transfusion takes place in a post apocalyptic world where seasons are a thing of the distant past, nights are bone chilling cold and days are unbearably hot. Robots have taken over the world and now use ground up humans as their fuel. Blood and all. Which presents a problem for the starving Vampires whose food source, humans, is ever dwindling. In the first issue, Vampire William leads a group of unsuspecting humans to a field of corn which turns out to be a trap. Unfortunately for the Vampires, the trap is exploited by the Robots first.

Steve Niles weaves an engrossing tale of horror and suspense. When William talks about the insidious takeover of the world by technology and how he was born to parents who “thought pocket calculators were the most amazing invention in the world”, I can identify with that since, well, I’m old. Even the cautionary Terminator’ish tale about selling our souls to technology that would grind us up and use us to lubricate the metal joints of the Robots is effective. I’ve seen other reviews that talk about how Transfusion is a “simple” story. I disagree completely. Niles is judicious with his dialogue, not stingy. That he is able to give us as much story as we get and that the story we get is filled to the brim with such incredibly moody and atmospheric horror just goes to show that Niles is disciplined and knows exactly what works, what to reveal and what not to reveal.

But Niles isn’t doing this all by himself. He’s working in tandem with artist Menton 3 who delivers some of the most frightening, eerie imagery that I’ve seen since Bernie Wrightson was drawing horror. Menton 3 gives us a disturbing and visually stunning fusion of images that are evocative of artists such as H.R. Giger and Bill Sienkiewicz. The color palette is a hazy mixture of black and white with shocking flashes and splatters of red that jolts the reader from the haunting beauty of the foggy moors of a literally and figuratively cold apocalyptic world to the cruel fates of the humans that inhabit it.
I have no idea where this story is going to go, but I trust Steve Niles and Menton 3 to take me there in style and doing their level best to freak me out along the way. I highly recommend Transfusion #1.

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