Story/Creator: Christian Ward
Art/Creator: Patric Reynolds
Colours: Heather Moore
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Edits: Heather Antos
Logo/Design: Christian Ward with assists from Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Image Comics
I need to say a couple of things before getting into the review proper; firstly, I’m a long term fan of vampire stories, especially the ones that introduce new ideas (or at least less seen ideas) to the vampire mythos. Secondly, I’m quite a big Christian Ward fan, as I’m writing this I’ve got his Swamp Thing and David Bowie prints hanging on the wall next to me and, in terms of writing as well as art, I really enjoyed Machine Gun Wizards. So with that in mind I might be a little bit biassed on this one, it does feel like I’m very much the target audience for Blood Stained Teeth.
We open the first issue of Blood Stained Teeth with some background on how vampires work within this world, and a clear distinction between two different classes of vampire: First Borns and Sips. I’m going to save some time and throw in the page that explains them so I don’t have to…
…So now that you’re as clued in as I was at the start of this issue, let’s get to it. Blood Stained Teeth follows the story of Atticus Sloane, a vampire for hire who’s responsible for creating countless Sips, something that’s made him plenty rich, but considerably unpopular with his fellow First Borns.
I say this all the time but I really don’t want to give too much away about Blood Stained Teeth. We’re told in that opening page that this is going to be about the “Sips and the vampire who made them” and while this issue is an introduction to Atticus and a couple of other First Borns, we only get a brief glimpse of some of the Sips he’s responsible for at this point. Though I’m sure the coming issues will tell us plenty about Atticus and the Sips he’s created right now this feels very much like an establishing issue. However the world it establishes is an intriguing one, in some ways it’s clearly similar to our own, though with the presence of a vampire society lurking just beneath the surface.
Patric Reynolds and Heather Moore work together here to create a visual that feels like a neon drenched B-Movie. There’s a feeling of grittiness throughout the art which is only accentuated by Moore’s over saturated colouring. I especially like how the colouring contrasts the human world and the vampire world, making the scenes with the vampires all the brighter compared to the slightly duller colours we see in the brief sequence in the hospital.
While there’s still a lot we don’t know about the world of Blood Stained Teeth I feel like we’re given a strong introduction in this first issue and I’m looking forward to seeing where the series will lead.