Teenage vampire hunters have come to America in the graphic novel, The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade in order to seek out a new recruit, unaware they are playing right into their enemy’s hands. Writer David Lucarelli and artist Henry Ponciano have been working together on CHVB for the past couple of years, and on this graphic novel for the past year. Interedted readers can check out the first 38 pages of the first graphic novel online for free.
According to Lucarelli, The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade is a coming of age Gothic adventure comic that was inspired by the real life Gorbals Vampire Incident which has been described as “Buffy meets the Outsiders.” The first four issues were printed thanks in part to their first Kickstarter campaign and were later collected into Volume 1 by Creator’s Edge Press.
This Kickstarter campaign is to help with the costs of publishing the second graphic novel in the trilogy, Age of the Wicked. The story is 98 pages of heavily atmospheric and intense adventure in shaded black and white art. In this second graphic novel, Gavin and Doug, the Scottish teenage delinquents who fell into being a part of the Vampire Hunting Brigade dive full throttle into the fight as the vampire threat escalates. They come to America seeking a new recruit for the Brigade unaware that evil forces are secretly pulling their strings.
Now we know what you’re thinking, “I don’t want to dive into the middle of a story!” However, according to Lucarelli, this is a brand new story and there will be a one page summary of everything that has happened up until this point on the inside of the cover to get readers up to speed. (In addition, if you are interested, you can read the first 38 pages of the first graphic novel online.) So, if you like that, Lucarelli is certain that you’ll love Age of The Wicked.
For those of you who read the first graphic novel, you will remember that Percy was the youngest of the original vampire hunters in 1954 at only four years old. By the time our heroes Doug and Gavin met him he was an old man. But now for the first time, we get to see Percy the warrior at the peak of his prowess, even as he struggles not to let the role that fate has dealt him define his entire life. Gavin was never one for the books, but he knows how to fight, and he knows how to party, and the women love his charming devil may care attitude. True, he spends all his money as soon as he earns it on peroxide for his hair, obscure punk and metal CDs, and beer, but he’s only 16, and events are coming that are going to force him to grow up a lot faster than he wants to.
There’s a lot more to Doug than that. He’s the heart and the soul of the Brigade, and more than anyone else the Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade is his story. Doug always wants to do the right thing, but events will unfold that will make that harder than ever. Moreover, he’s obsessed with a fellow Brigade member as only a 16 year old boy can be. Also, what’s not to like? Lucy is as smart as she is beautiful, and being raised by her uncle Magnus, she knows the supernatural and vampires like the back of her hand. She flirts with Doug just enough to drive him crazy, but her current boyfriend is the singer for a punk rock band, who’s got a big mouth that usually gets him into trouble.
Then there’s Amanda. The half human half vampire girl who was never fully turned and fell into Gavin’s lap as his girlfriend as if by magic. Right now, she’s in tune with the vampires and maybe the Brigade’s most valuable asset when it comes to being able to track them. The only problem is, once you start to turn, it may be a one way street. Aaron Downing is the real-life person who chose the rewards package to be featured as a character in this graphic novel, and you could be too. This time they have three slots for backers to be immortalized in comics. In Age of the Wicked Aaron is an army vet who works as a bouncer at a Texas taxi dance club. Haunted by the demons of his past, he will learn a secret about himself that will forever tie him to the Brigade!
They don’t sparkle!
One final note: The material in this graphic novel is PG-13 in nature, and may be too intense for some younger readers. There is violence, and while there is no nudity there are a couple of panels that imply sex between two consenting partners. You know your children. If they can handle the Walking Dead, they can more than handle this, but Lucarelli doesn’t want anyone buying this book for their little one because it has children in the title and thinking it’ll make good bedtime reading for the toddler set! Be sure to note the shipping charges for each reward levels are different for the U.S. and outside the U.S. And here’s one more piece of art to end on because Henry’s just that good.
This project will be funded on Tue, May 5, 2015.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.