The Vampire’s Christmas

    (Image, 2003)
™ and ©2003 Joseph Michael Linsner

A lot of contemporary horror stories manage to miss the obvious: A vampire must stink. And the only thing worse than being a vampire is being one at Christmas — which is brought all the way home in both the simple, elegant prose and stunningly beautiful pictures that make up Michael Linsner’s graphic novelette.

There’s nothing romantic about his Tobias Esque, who commits his grisly feedings grime-covered and as crusty as month-old bread. Still, even loathsome as he is, he discriminates when it comes to prey (hates child abusers, won’t prey on children), and, although asexual, he can still covet one of Linsner’s signature femmes, this one a literal fatale.

It neatly avoids being an anti-Christmas fable for would-be Goths, because, as many jaundiced jabs as Linsner gives holiday rituals, he acknowledges that being with other humans is preferable to the alternative — though Tobias wouldn’t agree.

— S.A. Bennett

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 Joseph Michael LinsnerJoseph Michael Linsner, Michael Dubisch