‘Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at the Crow’s Head’ #1 sets the tone for Halloween
Mike Mignola is back this week, creating new horror tales to raise the hair on the back of your neck with Leonide the Vampyr #1, a new series of tales with artist Rachele Aragno (Mel the Chosen). The first issue is set in a small coastal village around the time when monsters and mystics were shared, and the danger of the known lurked everywhere. The first story may be best read under the chill of evening, or even better near a roaring sea, as the danger looms at the edge of your reach.
Leonide the Vampyr #1 opens with a helpful summary of what we’re in store for, setting up our expectations and preparing us for one awful night. It opens on a sea town with curvy buildings in the dead of night. A few older men wish for things, and we already know from the start we should always be careful what we wish for. Soon a shipwreck turns up, and a bobbing coffin in the water. Inside that bobbing coffin is a dead girl who soon awakens and positively affects the town’s people. They’re jumping around, dancing, and having the best of times.
Enter the religious element, a man who looks like a skeleton, who brings gloom and doom as danger lurks for the people. Themes of cold nights, the bustle of a slight town feeling hopeful, and the mysterious red-headed girl who is as pale as a sheet all culminate into a fine little fairy tale of the macabre.
The joy you’ll find in this issue is very much thanks to Aragno’s pencils. The small girl is peculiar and slightly off, yet seemingly an innocent child. Colors by Dave Stewart cast her skin in an ever so off-white. The fact that she has fangs that barely peek out only adds to her childlike charm and the inevitable doom she’s bringing to this town. The town itself is rendered in a fairy tale as a crooked town that deserves a crooked end. When things go off the rails, and the supernatural elements come alive, Aragno’s work sings, drawing your attention to the fantastical in a unique, simple, and endearing style. Your love of this story will reside in Aragno’s ability to create an imaginative world worth exploring.
I love the look of this town!
Credit: Dark Horse
Promised as a series of stories, this is a good start, albeit a little simplistic. Take for it what it is – a dark fairy tale with a lesson – and you’ll enjoy what you get here. The art is arresting, but the plot and characters are all relatively simple or surface level, which is by design. It makes for a quick but enjoyable read.
Leonide the Vampyr #1 should have you ready and roaring for spooky season thanks to its fairy tale style and endearing art. You may just fall in love with the vampire child just as the townsfolk did, but luckily we’re safe behind our comic and not in a seaside town on the edge of bad tidings.
* This article was originally published here