Graphic Novels inspired by Anne Rice

       

What if we could be immortal, never die? Would we have a soul? Would we have purpose, a reason for being? These are questions you might consider asking after reading not one, but two, recently released graphic novels inspired by the works of Anne Rice.

The first book is Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story and tells the familiar tale from the viewpoint of Claudia, the little-girl-turned-vampire and the companion to Louis and Lestat. Her immortality is given not by choice, but a ploy used by Lestat to keep Louis near him. That immortality comes at a price, not just by her need for blood, but by the very fact that she will never age. Although she will always remain the figure of a five year old child, her mind will continue to mature and change, a fact not welcomed by Lestat. She will increasingly question and challenge him at every opportunity, just as she will grow in her love and affection for Louis, a love that will never be fulfilled.  It is the truth of her existence that leads her to betray her maker and search out others of her kind in order to find the purpose and meaning in her life. It is a search that will play out to its unfortunate end.

While the story is well-known to Anne Rice fans, it is worth reading for Claudia’s perspective on things and is a good companion piece to the original novel. Beautifully drawn in sepia tones, the only contrasting color is the color of blood.

The second graphic novel to follow this trend of the soul and immortality is The Servant of the Bones. It is the story of Azriel, a Jewish man living in Babylon, who agrees to become the servant of the title in order to serve the ruling king and protect his people. But he is tricked, and his body is melted in a vat of gold, leaving nothing but his gold-encased bones behind. He becomes a genie (somewhere between an angel and a demon), his bones trapped in a box, his spirit to be released by its possessor when the need arises.

His immortality is one of darkness, and the centuries quickly pass. He comes when he is called, but he soon learns that not all his masters are righteous or good. In time, he becomes less willing to obey and even attacks those who would command him. He gains something of himself and soon no longer requires the box (or its owner) to appear. In time, he finds himself compelled to solve the murder of a young woman in modern times. This brings him into conflict with a cult determined to bring about an apocalypse, with themselves as the only survivors.

The Servant of the Bones is colorfully drawn, and Azriel is not too hard on the eyes, if I do say so myself. Despite not having read the book on which it is based, I found the graphic novel easy to follow and an interesting read.

While both novels are very different in story and scope, I did find they had some common ground. Both dealt with the choices of immortality (given or not) and the consequences that followed. Both dealt with individuals trying to find themselves in their new lives, and despite the very different outcomes, both sought to retain something of their souls.

Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess