SNYDER, NGUYEN Conjure Nightmares in AMERICAN VAMPIRE Mini

SNYDER, NGUYEN Talk AMVAMP Mini

Fans of the hit Vertigo comic American Vampire will get more of a good thing this summer as the title spawns a second mini-series by writer Scott Snyder.

American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares, a five-issue mini that starts in June, will pick up some of the story threads from last summer's award winning mini-series American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest.

Featuring art by Dustin Nguyen, the mini will give Snyder more room to expand the world of American Vampire, a series he launched two years ago with a little help from one of Snyder's admirers, Stephen King.

Now that American Vampire is almost 25 issues strong, Snyder is also writing two comics set within the DC Universe: Batman and Swamp Thing. But it was the Vertigo series that won him initial critical accolades and an Eisner Award — and got the attention of Nguyen.

"I was already a huge fan of the title, Scott Snyder, the feel and look of the entire series," the artist said about his attraction to the chance to work on the American Vampire mini-series. "We'd talked about working together a while back on a few other projects, but the timing was never right. But then it was, and it was perfect."

The artist said he's enjoying the chance to draw a comic set in postwar Europe, and warned that people familiar with his art might notice a change in his style for Lord of the Nightmares.

"The most noticeable thing people will see right away, would be that i am inking my own work on this series, so it's definitely going to look different," he said. "Aside from that, I did research on the time period, people and atmosphere. Readers might also notice I'll combine a lot of the look that I usually only use for my personal work outside of the mainstream superhero genre. It's going to be really fun."

Snyder told Newsarama that the central characters in the series are Felicia Book and the Vassals of the Morning Star. "It's really going to focus on the senior agent we've seen a lot, Linden Hobbes, who's sort of the head of the Vassals," Snyder said. "And the mini will finally reveal how and why he became who he is, and went to war against vampires so whole-heartedly for the majority of his life."

Hobbes was one of the characters featured in last summer's Survival of the Fittest, but this mini will tell more of his back-story.

"The story's going to bring him face to face with the evil that made him who he is," the writer added. "So it's a confrontation for him that's going to bring everything to bear."

Readers will remember that Felicia was last seen when she took a boy named Gus as her own son from the man she loved, Cash McCogan. "In the last mini-series we did, she was able to procure what seems to be a vampire cure. Only a small amount — two doses of it — and she didn't use her dose on herself, because she's come to accept who she is. But she did use Gus' on him, and we did see him begin to heal."

This series picks up 15 years later with Gus and Felicia living in Paris, "off the grid," Snyder said.

"She's left the life of an agent behind and instead is trying to live a quiet life, away from all that stuff," the writer said. "She's trying to accept who she is without fighting in this struggle that she was born into.

"That's one of the things I love about her character," he added. "Essentially, she was born to a mother whose whole life was devoted to bringing down Skinner Sweet. So Felicia really hasn't had a chance to enjoy her own life, and enjoying it with Gus offers her a whole new life. That's what she's concentrating on now, as we pick up her story."

Snyder said the story begins with a "terrifying vampire event," which forces Felicia to make a decision about whether or not she needs to come back into the service to help Hobbes. "Hobbes [is facing an] enemy that he's actually — for the first time — truly frightened [by]," Snyder said.

"Will she help him face this enemy that actually scares him?" the writer said. "Or will she protect the life that she's been building for herself and for Gus?"

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