October 28's American Vampire: Second Cycle #11 marks the end of the current arc in the series, but not an end for the series... yet.
During New York Comic Con, Newsarama spoke with Scott Snyder about his and Rafael Albuquerque's long-running vampire series. We talked with the Batman writer about next week's American Vampire: Second Cycle #11 and beyond, delving into his plans forSkinner, Pearl, and the rest of the surviving VMS agents.
We also dug into a few of the ways the creator-owned experience has changed for Snyder and Albuquerque from when the series first started out, and when it'll all end for these vampires.
Newsarama: Scott, like your work on Batman, American Vampire: Second Cycle possesses your love of bombastic, out of this world action. Right now, the story seems focused on bringing each of the different members of the VMS – past and present – together to successfully prevent the Soviets from launching a nuclear assault on the United States from space while simultaneously eliminating the Grey Trader from beneath the sands of Area 51.
Yet with all these big concepts and setpieces, American Vampire originally struck a chord with readers due to the humanity of its inhuman cast. How are you carrying this element of the story forward amidst the fast-paced chaos?
Scott Snyder: Wait until you see this issue. Something really, really dramatic happens to one of the main characters – either Skinner or Pearl – that’s going to change their overall trajectory. I think you’re going to see it and be like “Wait, what?!”
This arc is literally one of my favorites. It’s not just for the bombast but also for what it sets up for future arcs. Things are coming to a head.
Nrama: If memory serves, you still have until approximately American Vampire: Second Cycle #30 or so until the series draws to a close, no? Are there any goals you and Raphael have you want to accomplish before the grand finale?
Snyder: DC would probably be mad at me, as it’s kind of a big spoil, but here goes: We have had an end in mind for American Vampire for a while now. We have two more arcs. The first one takes place in Egypt with Travis and Gus. Now, I haven’t said that to anyone yet, but it’s a little bit more of an Indiana Jones set in the Middle East during the 1960s where there’s a peace hopefully being formed between the Carpathians and a bunch of other monsters while this thing is growing in America.
The final arc is taking place in a very fun, but very dark place in America with all of the conspiracies of the 1970s like we see in The Omen with a devil child creeping closer to the president. It’s fun stuff ahead that we have planned out.
Nrama: So, when that's over is that the definitive end of American Vampire?
Snyder: Something Raphael and I realized was that we don’t ever want to walk away from American Vampire. We’ll end this story; we’ll end this thing, but the truth is we’re probably going to continue with it afterward. It won’t be American Vampire, but maybe it’ll be something like “Present Day American Vampire: Cases.” You know how Mike Mignola does that with Hellboy? We could reunite and bring the characters together for cases. So, we have a whole plan for it.
Nrama: In Cycle One, you collected an amazing group of stories from a host of talented creators. Have you given any thought to a second American Vampire anthology?
Snyder: The door is open to that, and we’ve certainly talked about it!
Nrama: So, it’s likely we’ll continue seeing American Vampire after it’s official on-going series draws to a close.
Snyder: I know there have been delays for personal reasons – which the readers would sympathize with if they knew – but life happens. We’re friends and we’ll always give ourselves room for personal injury or other reasons. But I’ll speak for me – though I think Rafael feels the same – is that while I love working on Batman and Wytches, there’s no place that feels as much like home to me than American Vampire. It is my favorite thing to go work on. It’s a top priority for us.
When we were coming up and were hungry, young comic book creators, we had nothing else to do, and so, it was possible to do this as a monthly series month in and month out. But as we’ve grown older, Saga has changed that format.
Nrama: Being able to move from the traditional on-going to working in chapter installments?
Snyder: A lot of us are seeing it serves the property better – not sales wise but creatively – to be able to do arcs you care about and take a few months off. At this point in our careers, for our family lives and our sanity, I only have American Vampire and Batman, my graphic novel After Death, and I’m working on the second arc of Wytches once my work with Jeff Lemire wraps…but you just want each project to be special. I hope fans see that delays aren’t that we don’t care – it’s that we do care and don’t just want to ship something out because the end of the month is approaching.
And I’m just so proud of this arc! I’ve done so many crazy things, and it’s a period of time when people didn’t know what was going to happen, what side the balance was going to tip over to. Would we see significant social progress, or was it going to collapse into something worse?! And honestly, we’re in a moment like that right now. I think, in a lot of ways, it means a lot to me.