Review: Vampwyre #1: Waiting for the World’s Applause
Creator & Writer - Zack Lynch
Original Concept Designer - Kim Vincent Harris
Pencils - Jason Baroody
Inks - Mark McKenna
Colors - Ross Campbell
Letters - Dezi Sienty
Graphic Design - Tyrus Christiana
I first met Zack Lynch when he came into my store. He was just looking for comics, but as we talked, he started telling me about a comic book he was developing. He had written it years before and was in the process of crafting a plan to get it in print and in people’s hands. Since I’ve always had a soft spot for self/small publishers and local creators, I told him I’d be happy to put it on my shelves once it was printed. If you’ve been in my store, you know I have local creator books as well as a whole wall of Kickstarter and small publisher books for sale.
Zack continued to come into the store. We’d talk about his book, and he’d show me early pages or covers. He told me about the team of creatives working on the projectand gave me status updates. Still, I hadn’t seen any finished pages or anything to base an opinion on. That is, until mid-October '22. That's when Zack showed me a pile of black-and-white pages: the complete (uncolored) Issue One! I was very excited for him, and for the chance to read what he had been working on. But he didn’t want me to just read it – he wanted me to review it and post my thoughts online. I was initially hesitant: If I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to bash something he spent so much time creating. Plus, writing a review of any kind is new to me. But I agreed. And so here we are, dear reader.
Where to begin? A brief, spoiler-free) summary. The action centers on Tyrus, a guitar-playing front man for an up-and-coming band. On his way to a gig, Tyrus runs into a vampire that begins his eventual transformation into something...more. He's not a vampire; it’s not that simple. But I don’t want to spoil the story for you , so I’ll stop there and turn to other specifics.
The art looks good, and makes me want to see the final colorized pages. The characters are distinctive and recognizable (even the fleeting one-panel cameos). The environment is drawn to be an integral part of the story, not as a generic background. Overall, the art has a good amount of detail without being
overwhelming or cluttered. And the action scenes are drawn to be clear about what is happening without being drawn out (no pun intended) across too many panels. Just as importantly, the lettering works. It doesn’t get in the way of the panel art and makes it easy to keep up with the story, narration, and dialogue.
As for the story: Though I’ve read many origin stories for all sorts of characters, this one feels original and has me wanting more - which should always be the main objective of an Issue One. While "original-Tyrus" (Tyrus before his transformation) only lasts for part of this first book, he's an interesting character. It would have been easy to write him more one-dimensional since his character doesn’t survive long. Instead he’s given a personality you can recognize and identify. He has goals (to be a rock star (who wouldn’t?)) and character traits (like generally being late) that most of us can identify with. Also, when ‘new-Tyrus’ emerges, you can see some of things he has inherited from "original-Tyrus" but also some distinct changes.
Yes, there were a few places that left me scratching my head. For example, the transformation sequence seems a little confusing. And where did the vampire come from? But I'm told that answers will be forthcoming!
Look for Vampwyre #1 in December.