Thursday, 16 May 2013

True Blood: Volume 1 - All Together Now Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Alan Ball, Kate Barnow, Elisabeth Finch, Mariah Huehner and David Tischman
Art By David Messina, Claudia Balboni
Cover By 'True Blood' Cast Picture

Published By IDW Publishing

Genre
Horror, Drama

Synopsis

Blood and passion mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte's as Sookie and the usual suspects settle in for the long haul.

Until, that is, they find themselves unexpectedly trapped by avengeful, vile creature who feeds off the miserable shame of others — and none will survive the morning unless all their dirty little secrets are revealed.

So Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara ,Jason, and Lafayette are forced to dig deep and tell painful tales of their pasts — the kind you never willingly reveal

Review

I will gladly admit that I've not seen a whole lot of the 'True Blood' television series so I had to do a bit of a research with the help of one of my friends who is a massive fan of the show.

That was a good thing really because I went in to this title with an open mind as to how the stories were going to play out and without any certain opinions of the characters clouding what could have been a good title to read.

What I ended up with was a good but not great collection of stories showing the tone of the show really well, showing us some back stories of the main characters and yet for some reason it didn't really gel as well as it could have done.

That's a real shame because I love vampire comic books and novels.  The scope for good stories in the genre are nearly limitless yet for some reason this collection appears to be quite hit and miss.  There are some great stories here and some that just meandered and didn't seem to really go anywhere.

However one of the strengths of the collection was that the writing was quite character based instead of just having vampires etc being only vampires and nothing else.  The main characters were well written to some extent but there were moments in the story where certain characters just seemed to do things that didn't really seem in character for them.  Granted I'm going by what I have read of the characters in this collection so I could be wrong but for me, it just made the stories seem a little disjointed.

That said however, the stories aren't awful in any stretch of the imagination.  They just didn't really grip me.

It was the same with the art in the collection.  It wasn't awful but neither was it great either.  The art was a little hit and miss in places and kind of felt like lots of people had taken part in this collection yet there was only one main artist along with some inkers etc.  That said however, it wasn't in many places that it was hit and miss but it was enough to be a little distracting.  For the most part, the art really does draw the eyes to the action on the pages.  I did like the sense of dread that ran through a couple of the stories and that was helped by the great use of shadows.  That's one of the things I like the most in the world of comic books, if an artist is adept at using darkness and shadows then I feel it really adds a creepy atmosphere to the story.

All in all, it's not a great collection but neither is it a bad one.  If you are a fan of 'True Blood' then there is no doubt that you will grab this collection and really be in to the characters.  I however, couldn't get in to the stories as much and for me, that affected my enjoyment of it.

Story 3.5/5
Art 3.5/5
Overall 7/10

'True Blood: Volume One - All Together Now' is available to buy from June 25th 2013

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