If you are looking for a fun read full of cheesy references all done with tongue firmly placed in cheek then you need to check out VAMPBLADE from Action Lab Comics. Creator Jason Martin revels in sex appeal and nerd culture in a comic that never pretends to take itself seriously. This four issue series is the second volume of VAMPBLADE but don’t let that dissuade you from jumping in. The set up is pretty simple, a young girl named Katie has bonded with the magical Vamp Blades to seek out and kill vampire parasites from outer space that possess the bodies of humans but cannot be seen. When the blades take over she dawns a sexy outfit and ruthlessly dispatches the creatures, temporarily losing herself to the blades own consciousness.
VAMPBLADE is fun and never pretends to be anything more than that. Martin has a way of seemingly aiming for the easiest references and jokes yet never coming off as pandering or talking down to his audience. The entire arc takes place as what is essentially San Diego Comic Con, a setting ripe for silly adventures. Throw in some comic and movie references that just skirt the edge of copyright infringement, a convention center full of nerdy virgins, and a half naked vampire killer and you have a recipe for a light hearted adventure that is in on its own joke. The writing is quick witted and moves at a rapid pace never slowing down to worry about the how or why things are happening, choosing instead to just focus on the chaos and puns.
Artist Winston Young must be having a blast drawing this series. The convention setting allows for countless riffs on well known characters and artifacts from all across comic book lore. His art veers more to the cartooning side of the spectrum and this allows for some awesomely exaggerated facial expressions and action scenes. While VAMPBLADE definitely earns its M rating boobs and buts are not the focus of the title but merely window dressing. If anything the character is almost asexual and thus her skimpy costume is a juxtaposition to her almost naive personality. I know books like VAMPBLADE and ZOMBIE TRAMP often sit at the bottom of the shelf and get looked over for being overly sexualized but that is really not the case. Both titles are fun reads that do not try to pretend to be anything other than what they are which is a non-stop rollercoaster of a comic that is fully self aware. The next time you are at World’s Coolest Comics wander down to the end of the alphabet and check these titles out.