Saturday, January 31, 2009

Guilty Pleasures Volume 1

Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures Volume 1
By: Laurell K Hamilton, Stacie Ritchie
Illustrated By: Jess Ruffner-Booth, Brett Booth
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Language: English
August 2008, $14.99
Genre: Comic/Urban Fantasy

In a world where vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures are legal citizens of the United States, Anita Blake is an animator – someone who literally raises the dead for a living. But she moonlights as a vampire hunter, called in to resolve situations that are too much for conventional police to handle. Now, a series of murdered vampires are turning up across St. Louis, and Anita Blake has been recruited to bring the killer to justice. But it’s not just the police who want her help, this time. It’s the vampires themselves.

Adapted from the novel Guilty Pleasures by New York Times bestselling author Laurell K Hamilton, the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter graphic novel introduces readers to the compelling world of Anita Blake and promises to seduce those who aren’t already fans.


Most people who know me understand that I have a love/hate relationship with Laurell K Hamilton and the Anita Blake series. I like the first seven or so Anita books and I dig comics so I thought I would give the Marvel series a try despite my reservations on the artwork.

In this first collection we have Guilty Pleasures in comic form. Someone has been killing master vampires in St Louis. If Anita doesn’t help the current reigning leader, then they will kill or take over her friend Catherine’s mind…permanently. Anita doesn’t like being put in between a rock and a hard place, her friends or threatened or having to work with Jean-Claude, one of the city’s remaining master vampires.

Anita is still Anita. Still snarky, still likable…still a necromancer. The storyline is still the same as the novel, same cast of characters, etc. My problems don’t reside there as it’s a nice faithful adaptation of the book. The dialogue works in places. The pacing okay. My problems reside in the artwork. I understand that this is a comic book and therefore Anita and crew may look decidedly different than the picture you have in your head. So where do I begin?

All of the men look exactly alike and yes they may be pretty but pretty doesn’t have to mean they look like girls with pecs; which is odd, since the women in the comics end up looking different from one another. Sometimes the artwork doesn’t match the descriptions or dialogue and the thighs on the characters are so overdone that well, you can’t help but giggle. Dolph looks entirely wrong as if they read a completely different description than the books and did I mention that all of the men look exactly alike, but with different hairstyles?

In the end it doesn’t work for me. There was nothing exceptional about any of it and for once I am really glad I only borrowed it from the library. I suppose if you are a big Anita fan and have to have everything related, this is a necessity, but unlike the Harry Dresden comic (which I really liked), this did absolutely nothing for me.

So, meh…

2.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

Have your own review? Let me know and I will post it.


Phantom of Pulp said...

I had a similar problem with the depiction of men in this book. They're all terribly feminized. If the story was about feminized men, it wouldn't be an issue, but, as you say, there is a great disparity between the art and descriptions in the text.

Excellent dissection.

memejain said...

I haven't read the comic yet but I totally agree with your comments about the Anita Blake series. I was totally hooked for the first 8 books and then I felt her focus changed from a good story that had great sensual and sexual elements to a sexual story that had so-so story elements.