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Friday, December 29, 2006

The Annotated Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

Like any serious comics fan should, I have a great amount of respect for Jess Nevins. His annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume One and Volume Two are incredibly entertaining and informative, and if you've got any interest at all in 19th Century heroic literature, his Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana is absolutely fascinating.

I, on the other hand, tend to set my sights much, much lower.

Yes, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3 hit stands yesterday, and so tonight, I'm devoting the ISB to an exhaustive, scurrilous set of notes on what may actually be the most awesomely terrible comic being put out by a major publisher today.

Grab your own copy and read along!

1.1: This issue's opening line, "My skin crawled with the memory of small furry bodies sliding over me," in addition to being a handy reminder that Anita was in dire peril of being murdered by vermin in the last issue, is also highly reminiscent of erotic fan-fiction concerning Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers. Considering that this is a story where the main character eventually has to have sex with the undead to gain super-powers, that might actually be a step up.

1.3: This issue marks the first appearance of The Rat King:

It's unclear as to whether his tiny, tiny denim cutoffs are representative of his rank, or if they're just a curious personal affectation.

2.3: Anita's "Apparently, I was being rescued, not that I had need of it," seems pretty thoroughly at odds with the fact that exactly three pages before, she was shouting for a vampire in a frilly poet-shirt to save her from Certain Doom at the hands of the wererats. From this, we can infer that Anita Blake is a total jerk.

4.6: When Theresa claims that the rats were meant to frighten her, Anita claims that she doesn't "frighten that easily." Again, I refer you to last issue, where Anita screams for help, apparently while completely calm.


At least two people got paid to write that down on a piece of paper. The mind boggles.

6.1: Hey, check out THIS shocking and wholly original concept! Nikolaos, the evil vampire capo for the entire city... IS ACTUALLY A LITTLE GIRL!

Did that blow your mind?! Because that just happened!

8.4: In a caption explaining how her mystical vampire-sense works, Anita claims that she "knew vampires like some people knew horses." Given what I've heard about her relationships later on in the series, that line is frigg'n hilarious.

8.5: Nikolaos apparently has the same tailor as Spawn.


According to the text, this expression is meant to convey mind-shattering terror and not, as you might expect, exasperated boredom.

12.5: Jean-Claude is upset:

Clearly, this is serious business.

12.8: Just in case you didn't think this comic was super-awesome yet, then stand back: Two full pages of Anita Blake interrogating a monosyllabic zombie used car salesman begins now.

16.1: Okay, now I've read this comic at least four times, and I have no idea why Nikolaos and Jean-Claude suddenly go apeshit and start fighting each other. Normally, this sort of thing wouldn't present a problem for me, as I am all about people suddenly freaking out and throwing down, but really: Even OMAC has the courtesey to explain why he's going to destroy your section. Maybe Master Vampires are just a moody, capricious lot.

18.6: The Sword of Omens has given Anita Blake sight beyond sight:

19.5: Anita's line, "This was why I jogged, so I could run like hell when something was chasing me. Thinner thighs was not incentive enough," is pretty ironic, considering that on the previous page, she's depicted as some kind of satyr, or possibly someone smuggling a pair of new-style Volkswagen Beetles in her pants.

20.3: Sweet Flippin' Christmas.

Okay, what we have here is Winter, who appears to be an idealized version of Frank Miller (on the right), whose horrific, sub-Michael Turner-level anatomy is not nearly covered enough by a mesh wifebeater and a pair of tiny running shorts with slits up the sides.

Further commentary should not be neccessary.

More ISB Fun With Anita Blake:

| The Bloodsucking Battle You Demanded! Anita Blake vs. Dracula! |
| The Rumble in the Concrete Jungle! Anita Blake vs. Batman! |


Blogger LurkerWithout said...

Actually Anita has super-powers AND has sex with monsters. Later she has sex and gets NEW powers...

Also I think the Rat King is wearing cut-offs so we the comics reader aren't exposed to rat dong. I'm fairly certain he's described as being naked in the book originally...

And Winter is supposed to be some kind of body builder/vampire wanna be. He never really does much in the series except get beat up by 96 lb nerd vampires and stuff...

Other than that I can't even try to explain any of the art, which is just terrible from what

12/30/2006 5:45 AM

Blogger Your Ol' Pal Rob said...

Perhaps I'm just too much of an "Arrested Development" fan, but I simply assumed that the Wererat King was a Never-Nude.

12/30/2006 8:58 AM

Blogger Brett said...

I am too timid a soul to check to see if Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers really has erotic fiction out there. Sadly I know in my heart of hearts it must. The internet is a dark and dreadful thing sometimes.

12/30/2006 9:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light!

12/30/2006 9:04 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

"Vampire senses...tingling!" Wow!
Anita must enjoy that a lot. And as for that Winter fellow, even the WALL behind him is muscular!

12/30/2006 10:22 AM

Blogger Siskoid said...

"Further commentary should not be neccessary."

And yet, I can't get enough.

Hold on a second... this is based on a BOOK?!?

12/30/2006 10:30 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

I simply assumed that the Wererat King was a Never-Nude.

I wish I'd made that joke.

12/30/2006 11:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the moment, I'm rather sick, and I keep getting these random coughing fits that last for minutes at a time. Laughing tends to set them off, but against my better judgement I decided to come by here today to see if you really did do the Anita Blake thing as promised.

Damn you Sims, you've set my recovery back days! Hilarious, keep up the good work. I'm off to get some cough drops or something...

12/30/2006 1:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Siskoid-- A series of books. There's at least ten of them now, and they are all, universally, this bad. (Well, really, a lot worse.)

12/30/2006 1:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's at least ten of them now, and they are all, universally, this bad. (Well, really, a lot worse.)

Fourteen, actually. (Fifteenth due out soon.) Not counting a side-story novel about one of the love interests.

And the author has another, very popular (gag), series altogether about a faerie princess, currently at five books. With an exceedinly similar heroine with her own stable of love intersts.

This is a bestselling, takes-out-ads-on-TV-type author.

Now let us mourn for the future.

(Though, to be fair -- the first eight or so books of Anita Blake? Were fun. Cheesy, pulply, "wow, eighties' fashion went over big with this woman" kind of fun, but they were.)

12/30/2006 3:41 PM

Blogger Derek said...

Further comentary bloody well is necessary.

The "Even OMAC has the courtesey to explain why he's going to destroy your section." line had me crying with laughter.

12/30/2006 4:49 PM

Blogger jblackstone said...

Nice "sword of Omens" reference. Thundercats was just about as gay as Anita Blake, so it seems apprioate.

12/30/2006 5:54 PM

Blogger notintheface said...

I can't look at the panel in Note 1.5 without picturing Anita saying "What-EVER!!!!" in a bad Valley Girl voice.

12/30/2006 6:21 PM

Blogger Evan Waters said...

I was thinking more "Gag me with a spoon", but yours works too.

12/30/2006 6:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who has hair like that??
What the hell is going on with Winter's arms??
Who is writing this crap??-
All I could hear was my breathing. [the very next panel] I finally knew what they meant by breathless with fear. .. is she breathing or is she breathless?
Why won't someone make it stop??

12/30/2006 7:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LKH (the author) actually had a whine about Rat King not waving his wang around.

12/30/2006 7:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

*former fangirl gush* In the books, the Rat King did actually wear a pair of jean cutoffs. And there was a lesser rat-man who was all nekkidy-nekkid and stroking his werewang. If I had any faith in the author's ability to portray any kind of subtlety whatsoever, I would have said the pants were a way of showing that Raphael was a civilized lycanthrope capable of resisting Nikolaos' power over him.

However, LKH doesn't possess even that amount of lukewarm literary aforethought, and I'd wager it's more a reflection of her earlier sexual hangups. Bad RapeRat, walkin' around all nuddy with his weiner out! Good RatKing covers his wereshame.

And the author did in fact whine about the lack of cock in her comic. "OMG I DID NOT TELL IT THAT WAY HOW DARE YOU SULLY MY VISION!"

12/30/2006 8:24 PM

Blogger notintheface said...

Maybe they should have had Kaare Andrews draw the book.

12/30/2006 10:48 PM

Blogger Richelle Mead said...

The Sword of Omens has given Anita Blake sight beyond sight.

Oh. Man.

That was golden.

12/30/2006 11:32 PM

Blogger Ivy Frozen said...

Is Jean-Claude upset because he was sent to coffin early without dinner?

12/31/2006 12:42 AM

Blogger andrew said...

I heard the author speak on a Fanboy Radio podcast. She seemed nice and you are all big meanies for making fun of her.

12/31/2006 12:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, criticize Winter all you like, but consider him payback for all the scantily-clad nympho female villains or minions who turn up in conventional superhero comics.

12/31/2006 1:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure this isn't a Rob Liefeld book?

12/31/2006 1:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a Liefield book, but I think the fantasy genre has finally found it's poster pic for bad anatomy, just like superhero comics have Liefield's infamous Captain America pic.

Look at how high Winter's abs go. He did so many crunches it interfered with the development of his pecs. His biceps are so big they're going to interfere with his arm's normal range of motion, let alone being the width of his torso. His neck is as long as his head.

And since he can't be doing to many lat-pulldowns with pecs like that, that is clearly a giant polyp or cyst coming out of his armpit/back. Because there's no way in hell that's a deltoid muscle.

That drawing makes my eyes hurt.

12/31/2006 2:07 PM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

ivy frozen: Is Jean-Claude upset because he was sent to coffin early without dinner?

Thats pretty much what happens yeah...

12/31/2006 6:48 PM

Blogger Tom Foss said...

The Sword of Omens has given Anita Blake sight beyond sight

I laughed for a solid three minutes, and I keep having little giggle relapses. Damn, Chris. Damn.

By the way, the only thing this was missing was a reference to the real Rat King.

1/01/2007 8:50 PM

Blogger Gynocrat said...

Jean-Claude is upset...there should be more him-bos like Winter.

1/02/2007 11:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that you've just made my day. =D

1/02/2007 4:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done, sir.

Jess Nevins

1/02/2007 5:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to think I coudn't loathe Anita Blake and LKH's lame-o franchise any more than I already did. Then I learned of this atrocity...good Lord...T_T

1/02/2007 7:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least the comic book seems to feature better spelling than her professionally published books. LKH was a pretty good writer with a decent ability to plot...until the very day her husband left her. Then overnight she turned into a purveyor of very badly written quasi-pornographic crap.

1/03/2007 4:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The look on Jean-Claude's face just screams, "You're not the boss of me!"

1/03/2007 7:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

in defense of anita's massive thighs (though I have no desire to defend anything else in this disgrace to life in general) brett booth (the artist) seems to have made everyone's thighs abnormally large. I can't for the life of me explain it as I don't know of anyone that finds thighs wider than one's whole head to be attractive, but one man's trash is another man's comic book, right?

1/04/2007 7:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the amount of fun that you have annotating this book almost makes me wish I read it. Heh.

Still, though, that Winter pictures is just my Eternal Nightmare from The Depths of Comic Hell: Michael Turner pulls a Byrne and suddenly starts sucking on a Liefeldish level.


1/05/2007 11:25 PM

Blogger Bully said...

"I'm the King Rat!"

"Oh, no you aren't!"

"Oh yes I am!"

(No one outside the British Isles will get that, but for best results, read the first and third lines in a John Cleese voice.)

1/08/2007 9:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winter, I don't understand your outfit. Please explain it to me.

1/10/2007 5:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that supposed to be Jean-Claude in the lower left corner of the Nikolaos pic? I swear it looks like he's snickering at her.

But who can blame him, with that horrendous anti-grav greek goddess getup she's wearing instead of the lacy little-girl dress she was supposed to have on?

No wonder Jean-Claude is pouting. Imagine being an aesthete surrounded by art this bad. I'd sulk too.

The Rat King actually was wearing shorts in the book. The other rats in that scene weren't, but he was. Apparently nice rats wear clothes, nasty rats don't. Or something.

7/26/2007 11:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone really DOES have huge thighs! There is a chapter missing here. It's the one where they let us know that the entire city is into speed skating.


8/16/2007 2:43 AM

Blogger GB said...

I laughed and laughed..then reread your blog and sniggered some more. I seem to recall a big deal is made out of Raphael wearing shorts.

*random aside*It does amuse me how obsessed LKH is with getting to Anita to ask verious badguys/cannon fodder-esq muscle boys how much they bench...Anyone who actually lifts tends to be more interested in squat or DL weights./*random aside*

3/15/2010 4:20 PM


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