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Do You Ever Look To Comics For Vampiric Inspiration?

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  • Do You Ever Look To Comics For Vampiric Inspiration?

    I have been wanting to run a Vampire game since I picked up Blood and Smoke many months ago, but as much as the canon clans and factions are interesting I keep on coming back to a couple of comics featuring vampires that I think I might like to steal a setting from. The two main contenders are "American Vampire" and "The New Deadwardians", I love the two very different tones these books set. Have you ever pulled some inspiration from comic book vampires?

  • #2
    Day Men would be a good one to add - a series about a mortal soldier for a vampire family drawn into a gang war with their nearest rival, and an unknown third party pulling the strings. (I'd suggest going for the collection rather than individual issues, as its publishing schedule is rather erratic.)

    The Tomb Of Dracula, which saw the creation of Blade, is a textbook example of a long-running series about vampires and their hunters. It goes pretty wild at times, being set in the Marvel Universe.

    Super-obscurely, I sometimes refer to vampire society as the Infernal Gallop after Warren Ellis's 1992 one-shot Sugarvirus, which could easily adapt directly to a short chronicle plot.

    And not just comics about vampires.

    100 Bullets is about the unwitting footsoldiers of the families that steer the world behind the scenes. Just add fangs and you have the Invictus and other covenants.

    Spy series like Velvet show what a dangerous and cunning character who masquerades as normal can do when she has to.

    Craig Oxbrow
    The Trinity Continuum freelancer


    • #3
      I've never actually pulled much inspiration from western comic books for anything, mostly because I've never been notably into them. I am however an avid consumer of manga. And there is a particular one that, despite its different tone from the works you've mentioned, I would recommend taking a look at.

      Tokyo Ghoul, particularly in the early stages of the story, could serve as a fantastic reference for a game heavily focusing on fledgeling and neonate kindred. It actually astounded me how many morbid similarities there are between the conflicts of a newly embraced vampire and the downslope of Humanity loss, and what the main character of Tokyo Ghoul goes through in his story arc and development.

      Like some Kindred, Kaneki Ken becomes something inhuman against his will, not even realizing it at first; he is forced to confront the fact he is no longer human, but a flesh-eating monster who can only live by harming and killing people; he struggles to maintain his integrity and survive at the same time; he undergoes loss because of this conflict, and he is forced to discard important parts of his human life. And to protect what he treasures as a person, he makes a conscious decision to accept the being he has become; wilfully discarding the humanity he so hung on to. It comes to an apex with his decision to sacrifice everything else for what he wants to protect if he has to - and to even consume other Ghouls for power.

      There are very obvious differences (like the fact Ghouls actually have to eat flesh and not just drink blood, and they can actually catch sunlight), but there are also other things that trace interesting parallels to Vampire The Requiem (the way ghouls meld among humans and many have to balance their lives to keep themselves safe from public scrutiny, hiding their faces in the shadows with masks both real and figurative).

      Heck, if you look at story in Requiem terms, there are details that immediately stand out: you can tell that Hide is Kaneki's Touchstone and Kimi is Nishiki's; you can tell who the scary low humanity Elders are; you can see when characters reach Humanity breaking points; even notice how Kaneki is changed by the consequences of Diablerie.

      That said, the overall tone of the story tends to be a little more out of balance than the New World Of Darkness, but manages to be just as grim, tragic, and personal horror focused as its books.

      Go to the manga for this though. The anime is ehhh at times (strange chronological shifting of arcs and cutting of large parts of an important one), and the second season took an original turn that hasn't shown itself as interesting or to the point yet. But yeah, I do think it can serve as good inspirational material for certain aspects of Requiem.
      Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 02-07-2015, 10:20 AM.