Prepare for a ten issue vampire epic on the bayou from the writer of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels! From the New York Times Best-selling author, George R. R. Martin, comes a tale of vampire clans, death and debauchery, legendary bloodmasters, and even a few epic steamboat races on the muddy Mississippi. This is Martin’s FEVRE DREAM, an antebellum story of power, loss, and the fever of bloodlust. It is 1857, and Abner Marsh is a remarkably ugly man — but the best steamboat man on the river. When the pale Joshua approaches him with a partnership and enough money to build the boat of his dreams, it seems too good to be true. But Joshua is a mystery of a partner, a man who keeps strange hours and stranger friends. It’s only a matter of time before Abner begins to wonder where the FEVRE DREAM is heading, and if it may turn out to be a nightmare, after all. Each issue of this stunning full-color epic is illustrated by Rafa Lopez, an artist whose skilled line captures every moonlit drop of blood in delicious detail. Adapted by the Hugo-nominated author Daniel Abraham, this version of FEVRE DREAM stays faithful to Martin’s original dark vision, while bringing the torture and joy of his vampires to almost-human life.
This haunting series is available with Regular and Wraparound painted covers by Felipe Massafera and a very limited Nightmare retailer incentive.
Follow behind the cut for my thoughts
I’m not crazy about vampire stories. I don’t know why, but they never really resinated with me. Maybe it’s the whole biting the neck thing that just kinda creeps me out, but it’s just not an idea that I’ve ever easily gotten behind. I’m also unfamiliar with George R Martin and the source material here. I can’t say that Fevre Dream is really the story to change all that on me, either, but it still is a rather enjoyable read.
The story follows two different vampire families as they both vie for control over New Orleans, as well as the general bragging rights of who contains the better steamboat. With notoriety comes power, and as much as the vampires are the superior beings to the weaker humans, they want more than to just physical dominate them. They want the humans to recognize them as their superiors without even the knowledge that they are the prey. This is where the steamboat comes in, and the Fevre Dream is built.
Like I said, I don’t really care for vampire stories much, but the way this one is going intrigues me. I do like the idea of warring families of vampires like mobsters, ones who don’t focus so much on their natural domination skills but rather the subtlety and cleverness of outwitting humans. Basically, if the vampires aren’t being vampires, I’m more interested. Such is the case for Martin’s story, and it makes for an entertaining read in the same way that I enjoy a story like Turf. Daniel Abraham’s adaptation here also fits a comic book perfectly. While I can see how this would work in a novel form, it flows incredibly well as a comic book. It reads like a dark classical novel with pictures more than it does a comic book, and it’s an interesting set up.
Lopez’s art is the only thing I’m sort of weary on. He’s an artist I’m not overly familiar with, but a quick Google search shows me he has a clear style. It’s his style that I don’t really get behind, especially here in a couple scenes and illustrations that seem unnecessary to telling the story (in scenes having to do with one woman in particular). I feel like a story like this needs a much more subtle approach to the art, especially with the two vampire families. It’s set in a very classical tone where everyone is dressed much nicer and enjoys wearing long coats, so it stands to reason that more of the story would follow along these lines. There are just a couple characters who appear somewhat unevenly depicted. It’s not terrible and it’s definitely not hard to look at or anything like that, but it’s the type of artwork where I’d expect something a bit less… flashy and voluptuous.Continued below
Fevre Dream ends up being an interesting comic book, and one that seems like it will offer a strong adaptation of the source material. While I’m not sure if I want to follow it to it’s conclusion, I will say that for those who are fans of vampire tales that portray actual vampires that don’t sparkle or spend an hour gossiping with annoying accents, Fevre Dream is definitely for you.
Final Verdict: 6.9 – Buy/Browse