Front Cover: The front cover shows the title of the mini-comic, and for those that already know about the series of novels on 'Vampire Apocalypse', those people will be intrigued about a illustrated novel format. The large rectangular white box on the bottom right of the front cover kind of throws me off, but I figure it is for a promotional purpose.
Inside Front Cover: The credits page, and done very well. Showing that the author is Derek Gunn. The adaptation is by C.J. Hurtt, with art by Federico Combi. Letters by Dan Streeting. Publisher / Editor is Eric Mullarky. With the domain name listed for those that are interested in checking this concept out further.
Splash Page: Starts off with panels of the story. Not used as a true splash page. However, I've already perceived that this is a promotional piece, not meant to be a real story within itself. It has only twelve interior pages.
The Rest of the Pages: I'm not for sure when reading this, if this is just an excerpt of pages already produced, or if this is the actual storyline in pages sequence. I'm reading this as a 'reader' with thoughts of purchasing it, not as a 'reviewer' of this publication. The varied size and shapes of the panels is an interesting usage of panels, and kind of places me in the 'Apocalypse' sort of time period.
Last Page: Having been semi-caught up in the action being presented in the storyline thus far, I reach this page to be told: "To Be Continued In Vampire Apocalypse The Graphic Novel Coming 2011. Okay...
Inside Back Cover: This is an in-house ad for the publisher's other comic book series, 'Elemental Fources'. I see there are at least six issues so far.
Back Cover: It's an ad for this upcoming graphic novel, and showing the reader that is based on the series of Derek Gunn's Apocalypse novels. So those already in the 'know' of this series would definitely want to look at this promo comic.
So, after all of the above...what is 'My Take' on all of this?
Well...First of all, I would have to say that this 'Prologue' in mini-comic book format is a good teaser for those that already know about the series of novels, and that it will be published in illustrated graphic novel format sometime in 2011.
For those that don't know about this series of novels and are interested in this type of genre, it would probably spark an interest in checking it out further online. Which after all, is the probable reason for this publication.
For those that are expecting a complete storyline in this mini-comic, which is done in a lot (most?) mini-comics, they will not see one.
This publication is a good format to be a 'teaser' for the upcoming graphic novel. Plus it is a good introduction for those that have read the series of novels to see what can be done with the concept in graphic novel format.
The artwork is fine, and fits this genre. The adaptation from novel to graphic novel is one I can't compare, not having read the novels. The lettering is hard to read for me, because of the word balloons and boxes being shaded in colors. I can see why the letterer did it that way, but in mini-comic sized print, it doesn't come over as well as a full sized graphic novel would. So please bear that in mind when reading in this mini-comic format.
I would grade this mini-comic as a 'Very Fine' (VF) 8.0 out of the 10.0 Comic Book Grading Scale. That's because the publication is more a 'promotional preview' type of work than an actual 'read'.
As an actual read for someone that doesn't know the series of novels background, it probably has enough presented in the total of fourteen pages to entice the person to check out the website. Which again, is most likely the purpose of this publication.
As a promo for the person who has read the series of novels, it is probably really good to help that person visualize this as a graphic novel, and look to how to possibly place a pre-order for when it is published in 2011.
Talking about websites, etc., I took a look at what is up already.
The publisher's main site is NewBabyProductions.com - which actually re-directs to the publisher's earlier web site for Elemental Fources at the time of this blog being posted.
There are a lot of links there, most for the other publication. However there are blog posts, forum threads, etc. for this Vampire Apocalypse.
There is also a Facebook Fan Page for New Baby Productions, which being an active Facebooker, I found quite interesting. I suggest that if YOU are on Facebook to take a look at this Fan Page. The Fan Page has been around since sometime last year, (2009).
That is where I found the answer to my question as to when this would be published in graphic novel format, (as of December 2009): "No official release date yet. Production will take the better part of a year due to this being 140+ pages. I am targeting early 2011 so that it can be premiered at one of the larger comic shows or book fairs. I will keep everyone updated as we move along".
However as an update, I found in their blog on the May 27th post, the following about this project's progress:
"Federico Combi notified me earlier this week that he could no longer continue on as artist for our Vampire Apocalypse graphic novel. His workload was getting to be too much and he was already way behind on our agreed schedule. We have mutually agreed to cancel the contract, and New Baby Productions will continue the project without him. I would like to wish Federico luck in his future projects.
With that, I would like to introduce Andy Dawe-Collins as the new artist. Andy is a local Michigan artist who I am very happy to be working with. His dedication, style, and love of horror will really help this project. Catch some of his work at http://www.comicspace.com/irish46/."
So at this point, I'm not for sure how this will affect the publishing of this graphic novel. Which is why I suggest that if YOU found this blog post about this project to be of your liking, that you add yourself to the Facebook Fan Page, and also add the Forum page on the web site to follow up on.
My thanks to Eric Mullarky for bringing this mini-comic book for possible review to my attention. And my best wishes to him and the others who are working to bring this concept to graphic novel format in 2011.
AND My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over the 3,180 total posts in number!
~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
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