Vampironica – Greg Smallwood, Meg Smallwood, Greg Scott, Matt Herms & Jack Morelli (Archie Comics)

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It would appear that nowhere, not even Riverdale the home of Archie Andrews, is safe from the curses of darkness and the creatures of the night, as Veronica Lodge discovers to her and her family and friends cost in Vampironica. Having “lost” Archie to Betty, Veronica, while preparing for a evening out with Reggie, is inadvertently transformed into a Nosferatu by an old “business acquaintance” of her fathers who has big plans for sleepy little Riverdale. But Veronica Lodge doesn’t like playing second fiddle to anyone and is at her most dangerous when she’s forced into a blood sucking corner. With her newly acquired undead status set to play havoc with the social lives of Veronica her friends, she decides to take the fight to the monster who turned her and in doing so, becomes who she really is underneath the reassuringly expensive designer outfits and jewellery; the baddest bitch in town.

Greg and Meg Smallwood’s tale of small town vampiric horror is steeped in blood soaked mythology and lore, and effortlessly combines it  with the easy going humour, snappy dialogue and endlessly complicated teenage trials, tribulations and relationships  that lie at the heart of the adventures of Archie and his friends.  The sumptuously detailed and hyper-realistic art of the aforementioned Greg Smallwood and his partner in gory glory Greg Scott is given a slightly terrifying edge by the books muted, chilling colours, that allows Vampironica to effectively explore and highlight it’s central theme of being true to yourself and being who you are in this world, regardless of what happens. Like Salem’s Lot if it had been written by John Hughes, Vampironica is the story of a girl who when she thought she’d lost everything, discovers who she really is and what was, and is, most important to her. Fangtastic… Tim Cundle

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