The Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber has been a staple of the YA horror community for quite some time and now, you can read it in manga form. Though I have not read the books in this series, the manga can stand on it’s own as a work of art.
Vampire Kisses #1: Blood Relatives is a cute, teenage romance about an adorable goth girl named Raven and her gorgeous vampire boyfriend. Raven reminds me of a young Death from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics. They added just a dash of chibi to make you forget you are reading an American produced manga. The art, by REM, is gothic and modern with a beauty all it’s own that will have any gloom cookie loving it from cover to the last scene.
This is the first successful book adaptation turned manga I have seen. The art is well done, the story is edited well, and it accomplishes what it is meant to, which is encourage you to read the book series. I can say confidently that this team “gets it” and I give them credit because not many trying to break into the manga market do.
We manga fans have come to expect extras in the back and we are not to be disappointed here. They have included some cool behind the scenes sketches of all the characters. I adore the goth-loli-punk sketches of Kat.
My only complaint with this little book is that it is too short. It is a measly 98 pages while most mangas run 150-200. Considering the novel this manga represents is on the slim size, I suppose they didn’t want to stray from the series format and make it larger. I am, however, hopeful for an all-encompassing omnibus of these mangas like TokyoPop did with the Princess Ai series.
I have high hopes for this series to continue in like style. If you’re looking to move from traditional manga into book-inspired manga, this is a great way to start.