Nov 11, 2009

Character Issues - "I'm Pinocchio. I kill monsters."

11:31 PM

Pinnochio- Little Wooden Boy, Perpetual Liar, Vampire Killer

Blood-sucking vampires are overtaking your peaceful town. Who are you gonna call? Blade? Meh, chopped liver. Van Helsing? Hugh Jackman, yee of the wavy hair, buh-bye. Ghostbusters? Definitely Not. Grab the yellow pages, flip to the letter P and call Pinocchio.

Now, don't snicker and give a disapproving eye roll. This ain't your whiny,mischievous puppet wishing to be a real boy. He also isn't the naive, deer-in-headlights wooden boy we are all familiar with. Conversely, he's a funny, quick-witted, blood-sucking-monster killing machine with attitude.

So what exactly makes him the perfect vampire exterminator? 

Quite simply, a lie and a wooden nose. It is essential that this lethal wooden marionette lies to spawn his never-ending supply of wooden stakes to protect his town, Nasolungo, from vampires. Once his nose grows, he breaks it off. Voila!!! Instant wooden stake.

The more lies, the more stakes, the more vampires feel Pinocchio's wrath. He's the perfect vampire slayer.

Of course there is a reason he is like this. Pinocchio's beloved father, Gepetto, has been killed by vampires. Upon finding this out, his main objective in life is to avenge his father's death and kill all who thirsts for blood. So rather than being a boy, he anoints himself as protector of the town from vampires.
Though this 126 page graphic novel is mainly about Pinocchio's vengeance on vampires, there are some sweet and tender

moments, like his crush on a town girl, Carlotta. Also, without giving away too much, there is a clear reference to the Empire Strikes Back. The last part of the book is quite the plotty twister.

Writer Van Jensen derives this creative story from Carlo Collodi's wonderful Italian fairy tale classic, The Adventures of Pinocchio. Jensen makes it clear this is not one of the countless adaptations of the story. The most famous one is probably the Disney version, with the helpless wooden boy sporting a feathered fedora & red overall shorts with his little talking bug, Jiminy Cricket.
It is rather a continuation of the original Italian fairy tale. He actually dedicates a few pages to the original story, which is nice and pays respect to the Italian classic. Moreover, a few characters from the original make an appearance.
The Talking Cricket continues to be Pinocchio's conscious and comedic sidekick.

Also, The Fox and the Cat also make an appearance and continue to extend their acts of malfeasance towards Pinocchio. This time around, they do not pretend to be lame and blind. In this version, they pose as town folks. Instead of leading the wooden boy to acts of misdeed and robbing and stealing from him, they make the townspeople believe that there are no vampires in the town and should go about their normal town lives.
Of course, they work for the vampires. Unfortunately for them, Pinocchio does not take any prisoners. Their fate does not go well towards the end of the book.

Dusty Higgins provides the beautifully gritty artwork. The black and white art parallels the theme and pace of the book. His style reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes, one of my favorite characters & stories of all time.

The graphic novel, Pinocchio Vampire Slayer from SLG Publishing, is a tale for all comic book geeks and non-geeks alike. It's a surprisingly refreshing take on our favorite wooden boy. All will enjoy this darkly funny story that combines satire, adolescent romantics, sweetness and suspense. Oh and a lot of vampires get shanked by a wooden nose. Who wouldn't want to see a wooden boy kick-ass.

So all the blood-suckers of Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and True Blood - watch your back.

Pinocchio is taking vampire names and out to kill.

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