In the past three years, we have featured 72 different things vampire through this annual feature.
I have to admit, I didn’t think I had it in me.
But we’re not done! There’s eight more to get through and here’s today’s four:
S is for Sita, Christopher Pike’s last vampire.
I discovered Christopher Pike – aka Kevin McFadden – in junior high. Author of many teen thrillers, at that stage I tried to read everything he’d written.
However, I apparently abandoned him for the more mature drama of V.C. Andrews and Danielle Steel before he started his vampire series in 1994 – which was well before that craze formally hit and they renamed the Young Adult section of the library.
But last year, one of my favourite bloggers posted about her love for this series. So I picked it up.
First? The series is tricky on the math front. Six original books were published between 1994 and 1996 as “The Last Vampire” series. These were repackaged in 2009 as the first two books in the Thirst series. The series then has three new offerings, the most recent being The Sacred Veil, published in 2013.
Sita, born 5000 years ago in India, begins the series believing she is the last vampire on earth. I think a younger me would have loved bad-ass ancient Sita – who also goes by the name Alisa in modern times. Me now? I enjoyed it, but it didn’t give me the same rush Christopher Pike’s books gave me at age 12. The first book spends a bit too much time stating her awesomeness (I am sexy, I am rich, I can leap tall buildings, I can dodge bullets …) rather than letting the narrative show all this in due course. She also has a bit of a Catherine in VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic type way of failing to keep any man interested her alive. But other than that? It’s fun and offers some new vampire mythology to me (Vampires do India, discuss Buddhism and she met Krishna), which I enjoyed.
Wikipedia notes a movie might be in the making, with last discussions and exchanging of rights happening in 2013. In case the Internet cares about my opinion, I’d watch that.
T is for True Blood.
But the whole idea of True Blood really does deserve a letter on its own.
Anne Rice might have been the first to entrench vampires in Louisiana, but Charlaine Harris and HBO gave us that world as it might be should they all come out of the coffin and mainstream society had to deal with them. The resulting books and series, while perhaps not for everyone, are simply brilliant.
U is for Undead.
At first, I thought this was a super-lame choice for U.
I was missing a U.
Really – complete dearth of U vampire stuff out there for anyone in the fiction realm who would like to address that.
That’s what the entire fiction boils down to.
To quote The Lost Boys:
Never grow old.
It’s fun to be a vampire.
To also quote another book I was honestly pretty ambivalent on, but which had this fabulous moment of clarity:
Aren’t all living things undead?
That would be Amelie, one of the ruling vamps from the Morganville Vampires. First book. Pg. 168.
What that character is trying to say is: are we really that different?
Anyone who reads the genre would answer, emphatically, YES.
The various illustrations of that breed all the permutations of vampire, zombie, and many other horror fictions.
Because life is precious and worth fighting for.
For this letter, I could have given you any number of clips or photos. I toyed with Church, that come back from the dead cat from Pet Sematary. I gave you Bella from Twilight, above. Because that’s the fantasy. Live beautifully and forever.
But instead, I choose this from Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The myth lets us explore the idea of immortality. But I loved this episode for the raw emotion and reminder that no one is immune and we all need to come to terms with death.
V is for Vampirella, the comic book superheroine created by Forrest J Ackerman and artist Trina Robbins in Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror comics magazine Vampirella. The original series, with 112 issues, ran from September 1969 until March 1983.
Over the years others have obtained the rights: Harris Comics published various tales between 1991 and 2007. Then Dynamite Entertainment did a series that began in 2010 and another that ran from 2011-2014 and another that started in March 2016.
But her origins are firmly entrenched in the campy science-fiction comic style of the 1960s. An alien from the planet Drakulon, which is home to a race of vampires, she is chosen for a mission to go explore planet Earth, where she discovers her race’s resemblance to mythical vampires. She decides to break the stereotype by acting in a good and honourable manner.
As a non-comic book reader, I found this video a good quick overview:
The character has gone through some changes over the years. When Harris bought the comic in the 1990s, she fit in with popular bad girl and occult themes. So, instead of being an alien, it turned out she is instead the daughter of Biblical Lilith, which aligns more closely to actual vampire myths.
And that’s it for today! Come back on Halloween to see the conclusion of this year’s list!