Specially ordered, I picked up my Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer graphic novel today. The story of a wooden boy who has the ability to lie, grow a longer wooden-stake nose, break it off, and then kill an undead blood-sucker with it...is worth any amount of money. Luckily it was only $10.95.
The story was written by Dan Jensen and illustrated by Dusty Higgins. The book is smaller than a conventional comic in height and width, yet is still a graphic novel length of read. The art is all black and white except for the cover...which is black, white, and red. The intro art (which retells the classic tale) is bloody simplistic yet charming. It captures the quick-paced fun tone of the book in a brief 3 page sequence.
Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer picks up on the fable of Pinocchio after the conventional tale, but before he turns into a real boy. He remains splintered and string-less with a knack for vampire slaying. There is a bit of romance, a lot of action, and plenty of puns. I love puns.
Overall the story is good. I wanted it to be the best thing I've read in a while but it's no Old Man Logan (which came out in hardback today - Mark Millar & Steve McNiven). The fast pace story doesn't leave a ton of time to get to know the characters very well, but it does allow for a story that delivers many scenes one expects from a book about a vampire killing puppet.
I have always understood that a book focusing on a unique story idea, or even gimmick, does not have to have the best art. The art should be fun and make for quick visual recognition, but it should not take away from the story or tone. Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer has art that sinks-up with the level of story and takes nothing away from the adventure. It is clear, the characters have distinct designs, and the backgrounds are not overly detailed. The art actually reminds me of a basic Mike Mignola style. Not quite to his creative ends, but the hint of his style is there.
On a scale from "1" to "destruction of night walkers", I would have to give Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer a B...adass +. The plus indicates that the book is a great shelf or coffee table book to share with friends when they stop by.
Fun to read. Awesome to own.