I’m beginning to think I have been wrong about the plethora of vampire titles out there. (Except of course the Vampire Diaries, but don’t get me started on that). Lurking amidst the Image comics on the stand I found Turf, specifically the third issue of a five issue series from Image. A seemingly Noir gangster tale, with vampires and an alien thrown in.

Written by Jonathan Ross and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards, the art was not spectacular on the first flick through, vaguely Mignola-esque in its form, which is not what I really appreciate in my comics. I much prefer the clean lines of say Perez or Jiminez, however many stories have been enhanced by such simple lines and moody shadows. So I thought it was worth a look.

So, I need to apologize to Mssrs Ross and Edwards. The art is perfect. Set in prohibition era New York with a cast straight out of Bugsy Malone but with real bullets and the traditional gang rivalries that now they are far in the past we can look upon fondly. This is sheer silver screen stuff, only enhanced by the presence of our fanged friends.

The premise is simple enough to start with.  The vampires are moving in on the gangsters’ territory in a bid to reclaim the power of ages past.  Of course, the crash-landing of a UFO seems a little anachronistic, but no element here is over-played. (Despite the cover, which is a trifle misleading.)  It is not as cheesy as it first sounds, even reading the third issue in isolation I can feel a tension building, the characters stereotypical enough to be familiar, but unique enough to be engaging. I already feel for these characters, despite the fact they are a bunch of murderers, villains and thieves. The gangsters are in above the their heads, yet so might be the vampires with the alien arrival. And a number of people seem to be discovering an inner heroism totally foreign to their nature. Altogether heart warming!

Now maybe I should go seek some professional help. After I delve into the recent back-issue bins of course.

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