Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On the Coffee Table: Little Vampire

Title: Little Vampire, Volume 1
Writer and Artist: Joann Sfar

Image via

Yet another successful purchase from Drawn & Quarterly over the weekend, Sfar's Little Vampire holds cross-generational appeal.  The title character is eager to go to school, only to be disappointed to find it abandoned at night, his own waking hours.  He begins a correspondence with Michael, the boy who shares his desk during the day.  Their friendship becomes the basis for the series.  Rarely have the undead been so adorable. 

First published in French under the name Petit Vampire, Sfar's work again asserts the broad-based appeal of the comics medium outside the English-speaking world.  It occurs to me that this phenomenon can't be unrelated to the more sophisticated animated films one regularly sees coming out of both France and Japan.  The message is clear: cartoons are not just for children.  While animation holds obvious appeal for younger viewers, that's no excuse for dumbing down the narrative to the point where stories are formulaic at best or unwatchable by adults at worst. 

Graphic novels at their best provide yet another opportunity to share our love of books with children.  I'm eager to find similar books that all three of us can enjoy. 


  1. I've never read a 'hook' that had me sold so quickly. I want to share this with my daughter. I think. It helps that you're the one who's recommending it. And the illustration holds great appeal.

    Good ol' heuristics.

    1. Suze, if your daughter's into the graphic novel/comic book idea, our daughter is absolutely devoted to the "Chi's Sweet Home" series. Fair warning, though: they are not as well-suited for adult reading. Also, most if not all of Miyazaki's films have been adapted to comic book form. We've had good success with those, too.

  2. What a great premise for a story. Thanks for recommending it.