Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
“Pinocchio protects a town from an undead menace and discovers that the vampires have a deeper agenda than the mere sucking of blood.”
There is no singing cricket, no beautiful fairy, and this tale doesn't having a happy ending. Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins created one hell of a parody. A wooden boy, who, when tells a lie his nose grows, then by breaking it off uses it as a stake to hunt vampires. It’s clever, it’s very funny, and the characters have this Tim Burton type novelty towards their personas.
The story of this excellent graphic novel takes place a few years after Carlo Collodi’s original story Pinocchio. It’s a true sequel to the book for it is a continuation of Collodi’s tale (it strays far from the Disney retelling); the title says it all: Vampire Slayer. Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins state in the forward: “That beloved dancing cricket? He didn’t dance or sing and was dead within a few paragraphs.” They even made a short illustrated guide to retell the Pinocchio origin and reexamine the differences between the retellings and the original tale.
The story of this twisted sequel takes place in the peaceful town of Nasolungo. Vampires have started to overrun the town and only one who is willing to fight them is Pinocchio. However, he isn’t the same Pinocchio that you might remember. He’s sassy, has some angst, and is less a boy and more of a teenager. With his endless stake supply (thanks to his growing nose), and his desire to avenge the death of his beloved father Geppetto, Jensen and Higgins have made Pinocchio the perfect vampire hunter. Take that Joss Whedon.
Pinocchio does not hunt the vamps alone though, he has a slew of friends. Master Cherry (the carpenter that discovered Pinocchio as a talking block of wood and later gave him to Geppetto to carve into a wooden boy), the older and grayer Blue Fairy, and a zombie/ghost like cricket. Jensen writes a great supporting cast. Each character has a memorable and important role within the graphic novel and they really help Pinocchio's character growth. Spoiler: not everyone survives!
This graphic novel has the potential for cult status. It's contains so much dark humor and sarcasm, a fun plot, and the workings for multiple sequels. When asked how Jensen and Higgins came up with one of the best ideas for a book, Jensen said :“What started out as a simple joke about Pinocchio shanking vampires with his nose grew into a book filled with drama and pathos. Yep, drama and pathos… and Pinocchio using his nose to shank vampires. Lots and lots of vampires.” It's a fast read and one you can't put down. Highly recommended.
Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer is a 128-page graphic novel and can be bought here.
5.0 out of 5.0
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.