Publisher: Image Comics
Story By: Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft
Art By: Attila Futaki
Release Date: March 6th, 2013
Part two of an insomnia-filled night, after reading Harrow County: Countless Haints by Cullen Bunn, I picked up this to read. Probably not the best decision if I planned to go back to sleep at some point. Unfortunately, my comic book mountain by my bed doesn’t really offer many comforting, soporific reads.
So, Scott Snyder, best known by me for the hugely popular American Vampire. I know he is known for a lot more, but I don’t really venture much into superhero land. I have bought and read American Vampire, the first trade, twice, enjoying it but not quote enough to buy the next. That said, I just I couldn’t resist the cover of Severed. It looks like a classic B-movie, straight to VHS. It looks like a pulp horror novel of the 80s. In other words, It looks right up my street.
It is 1916 and Jack, a young boy, runs away from home to find his father – a musician. Jumping the freight trains, he meets Sam who decides to travel with him to help find his father. On the way, they meet ‘Alan Fisher’, an extremely odd man who offers to help them find Jack’s father. Sam doesn’t like Alan and she’s right not to. Alan is a vampire who especially likes the taste of young children. Only he’s not your average ‘suck ‘em on the jugular’ kind of vampire. As the title would suggest, he likes to do a lot more with his captives than just suck their blood.
Severed is creepy as all hell as well as being gory and bloody and violent. It’s clearly a precursor to American Vampire – the similarities are obvious – however, I enjoyed it much more. Severed goes for straight out horror, where I feel AV gets lost in historical comment, although I do love the protagonist. I will always take straight-out horror over everything else on offer. ‘Alan Fisher’ is also a precursor for Joe Hill’s Charlie Manx. Again the similarities are obvious, though Hill takes his evil in a different direction.
Futaki’s artwork is faultless. The American Dream, the dustbowl, the Prohibition cities are all well realised and the characters are excellent. ‘Alan Fisher’ is superbly drawn, he manages to change like a chameleon, shedding his skin to fit his new pseudonym before letting his true creature out. Throughout the reinventions, he still manages to be recogniseable.
Severed leaves me with a question. Why did Snyder take this story to American Vampire? Severed is clearly more than a practice run – it’s an accomplished success. Snyder can tell a tale, and I for one would love to hear some more.
The Writer of this piece was: Hazel Hay
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