Looking for something a little darker, a little sexier, a little more fun? Katie Skelly has made a name for herself using these in her work. With the recent Fantagraphics release of My Pretty Vampire, a collection of her digitally presented comic, these are on full display.
My Pretty Vampire follows, Clover, a vampire looking to take back her independence from men who have controlled her. The setting is paramount of the story as it takes place in the 1960s which pops in the overall aesthetic while also giving plenty of ammo to deep dive into the era’s gender climate. In the wrong hands that can come off heavy handed, however, Skelly navigates the waters with a deft hand.
The story is a journey for Clover, as she takes ownership of her life back from her brother. He has kept her locked away “for her safety”, neglecting to allow her to make that choice. Breaking free from her brother is only the start as she is presented with the very real struggle of her thirst taking over once on her own. The comic moves along at a quick pace, but taking time to appreciate the visual storytelling and layout can cause hours to be lost just enjoying each page as the color, humor, and sexuality come to life.
Skelly’s artwork is phenomenal in My Pretty Vampire. Art pops off the page with color, while the minimal layouts visually provide a sense of isolation to the story. Those aspects combined lets the reader fully embrace Clover’s journey. The artwork also shows off some of the coolest retro style and fashion from the time which make this feel like a throwback. While reading, it can almost feel like you found a lost story from some bygone era that was hidden away.
To check out Katie Skelly’s My Pretty Vampire, you can pick up the hardcover from Fantagraphic Books.