Vampire the Masquerade brings back some fond memories for me, even though I’ve never played the Role Playing Game or the Video Game. It was the television show Kindred: The Embraced that hooked me. It aired in 1996 for only one season, starring the now late Mark Frankel (who was also in a the very short-lived series Fortune Hunter) and the very beautiful and striking Stacy Haiduk in the best role I’ve seen her in to date. The show lasted only 8 episodes, but left a lasting impression on me that I have not shaken since (I actually own the DVD’s). I read several of the books after that and bought the card game.
So, when I heard that Vault was doing a comic series, I had to pick it up. The first issue is a slow read, introducing us to a new character, Cecily Bain, in a story entitled “Winter’s Teeth.” It lacks the world building of the show as we get to see only one of the factions at work.
She begins as a heartless character, who I thought was the villain from the onset. One of her crew, (which I believe is Toreador) told their human girlfriend, who happened to be a reporter, that he was a vampire. This is against the rules and Cecily slaughters her. Oh well, time to be single again, buddy.
Then we see another completely different side of her as she visits her sister, who has dementia and lives a facility. She says a quick hello and goodbye and goes to a spot she was given by the prince, only to find someone else squatting there. She immediately attacks this girl. The factionless girl asks for mercy and Cecily takes her in, but while she sleeps, the girl stands over her with a hammer and a stake. Oh my.
Does she kill her? Find out.
Then there’s a second story, though I’m not sure why, about a group of factionless vampires being stalked by a vampire hunter in a story called “The Anarch Tales.” In the back are character sheets for Cecily and Colleen Pendergrass from the second story. I assume that these can be used as NPC’s for the Role Playing Game.
I had a hard time believing that Cecily was Toreador clan. For those of you who are not familiar with the world, Toreadors are patrons of the arts, which includes music, painting, photography, filmmaking, etc. They are the sophisticated clan among the others. Cecily did not come off that way at all. Also, they mention Prince Samantha. I understand that Prince may be a gender-neutral word, but it still sounds strange when you read it. I’m a big fan of this world, I hope in later issues they will develop it to its potential. I’ll hang around for a few issues and see where it goes.
About Frank Zanca
…began working in local television at the age of 22 when he became a Promotional Producer for Channel 9, the Orlando ABC affiliate. During this time he wrote and produced thirty-second spots for the newscast and syndicated shows such as Geraldo and Sally Jesse Raphael. Later he worked as a Production Assistant on NBC’s Gonzo Games and Dick Clark’s Sea World Summer Spectacular.
Frank created and wrote his first comic book, which was distributed internationally under the name of Shadow Raven. For a number of years, Frank worked in Sales and then moved into Marketing where he became CFO and later President of two Independent marketing firms that were later sold for several million dollars.
Recently Frank helped design Shadow Raven: the Combat Card Game, which was distributed internationally and has written the Shadow Raven novel (to be released next year). Frank is currently producing Shadow Raven: Fading Thoughts, a thirty-minute pilot, which is designed to become a feature film or television series.