Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Double Feature Revue: Patrik The Vampire

Sink Your Teeth Into This!

Everybody's just trying to get by in life, really. You go to work, you pay your rent, you hang out with friends, you catch a guy down a back alley and drink his blood...

wait, say that again?
It's just another day in the life of Patrik The Vampire, the work of Bree Paulsen. According to Bree, 'Patrik’s a fun-loving guy who enjoys knitting and baking, visiting his friend Becky at the local coffee shop, and is a proud member of his neighborhood’s book club. He’s just a really nice guy trying to live a normal life.

Oh! And I almost forgot! He’s a vampire.'

The Rating

 Bloody good!

The Raves

From the earliest pages, this comic showed itself to have a wonderful grasp of writing style and the artistic chops to carry it off. The art and the script work together in seamless harmony, a deft sense of framing and imagery perfectly supporting witty one liners and snappy rhetoric, keeping us engaged with every page. 
The creator's pulled off the feat of creating a work that makes you think but still makes you laugh on a regular basis, and that's no easy trick. In the early pages, the comic is mainly a vehicle for well-done humor, but soon the story grows into something more: an exploration of personality, guilt, redemption and the longing we all have at some point in our lives to reach beyond our own lives and connect with others. Put plainly, Patrik wants so badly to make a friend! There are some deep themes in this  piece, but the writing and dialogue make sure that it never gets too heavy.  The art style helps keep the atmosphere from getting too dark: the loose playfulness of watercolor paints, the bright, chipper colors and stylized drawing flair keep what could have been a very grim piece in the realm of the cheerful, self aware comedy.
There's some solid characterization in this work: Patrick's desperate cheerfulness reminiscent of a recovering addict who desperately wants to prove that he can be a good man is wonderfully balanced with his two diametrically opposed best friends, one bitter as black coffee boiled too long in the pot, the other sweet and wholesome as a fresh baked cinnamon roll. Add in a cranky cat and a cute cast of background characters, and you have a recipe for a great comic.

The Razzes

I'll be honest. I've nothing to complain of. Hats off to you Paulsen! Personally I like to read the work on Taptastic because I find annoying Tumblr's habit of insisting that a click on the image means you'd like to see the image as a separate tab rather than going on to the next post, which is what I'm trained to do by most comics, but I understand that this is the fault of the platform, not the creator. In terms of art, writing, or workmanship, no complaints!

The Revue

Here's your Halloween treat, enjoy!

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