Entering the overly saturated vampire genre, I expected The Strain Volume #1 to be typical and over done. Boy was I wrong. The Strain follows the beginning of a plague of vampires in Manhattan. These vampires aren’t what you’re used to, though, these vampires are more like zombie hybrids, unable to think, only eat.
The book opens with the CDC investigating a plane which has landed with everyone dead. We meet our main character, Ephraim, as he looks for answers. Ephraim is far from perfect, which is a breath of fresh air compared to many stories. He and his team are joined by a mysterious man who seems to know quite a lot about these creatures.
Created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain Volume 1 collects issues #1-11 in an easily digested graphic novel form. The Strain is written by David Lapman, who adapted the popular horror book series masterfully. The action moves at a great pace, keeping you interested. The graphic novel is a real page turner.
The art conveys a true sense of dread, both in the color palate used and the depiction of the characters and vampires. At one point in the story, I turned the page and let out an audible gasp (and perhaps an expletive) at the mastery displayed in the art by Mike Hiddleston and Dan Jackson.
The Strain has also been made into a TV series. I am very excited to watch and see how true to the story the series is. If the special effects are anything like the art in the comic, it should be an amazing show.
The Strain Volume #1 is available from Dark Horse comics July 9th and the series premieres on FX July 13th.