True Blood, Volume 2, Issue 1

IDW Publishing (2011)

ISBN: 9781613770191

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

I didn’t even realise that a True Blood graphic novel existed until I came across this on Net Galley. Given this issue is from Volume 2, I clearly haven’t been paying attention, a situation that will shortly be remedied.

“Tainted Love” is the first part of the trade edition of True Blood Volume 2. We are introduced to our characters by way of a dream sequence where Sookie shares herself with both her vampire lovers Bill and Eric, in a gory blood bath. This rather graphic sequence sets a somewhat gorier tone than that of the rest of the issue, which focuses around human Hoyt deciding to put on a pretend Prom for his newly made vampire girlfriend Jessica. Fairly innocent, but we also know that someone has spiked the blood substitute Tru Blood with an agent that is causing vampires across the country to go on killing sprees. What will happen to the partygoers when they drink this wicked cocktail, especially Jessica, who has enough problems with self-control as it is?

I quite enjoyed this foray into the True Blood universe. It really is that of the television show, not the books, evidenced by the drawing of the characters to match their television counterparts (and indeed, the very embodiment of some characters only come from the show). The cast are recognisable from the screen, which is just as well because very little introduction is supplied. I wouldn’t recommend this to newcomers as a place to start exploring Sookie’s universe, as the story pretty much jumps straight in, but I haven’t seen the first volume, which may offer a better initiation.

I wasn’t as impressed with the artwork as I usually am by slick media tie-in graphic novels. It seemed a little unfinished, even though, as I said, the characters themselves were clearly drawn to match the television actors. It wasn’t all the much of a problem, and some panels were better than others, so perhaps it’s an issue that might settle over coming books.

In all, I enjoyed this first issue of an ongoing arc. As a fan of the True Blood show, I’ll seek out the first volume and the rest of this one in the interests of completionism, even if I’m not sure how much they will add to the mythology of the world. It’s always fun to see how characters and story translate into a different medium, and based on this small sample, I’m interested to read more.