Vamplets: The Nightmare Nursery

Action Lab now has available for pre-order the first 48-page color hardcover of Vamplets, which is a tie-in to a merchandise line that came from a Kickstarter.

Since the Vamplets are vampire (and werewolf and other monster) babies, I was expecting this to be really cute horror, along the lines of Little Gloomy. However, the story isn’t about the kids so much as Destiny Harper, a human girl who winds up as the new watcher of the Nightmare Nursery in Gloomvania, which seems to be a waste of the concept. We don’t get to know the babies individually in any way, and they have relatively few appearance pages.

A lot of the first chapter (the book only has two) is about how she finds her way there. It’s some pretty art, with Destiny in a thrift shop and such, but it’s not necessary for the story, and it makes for a slow start. It takes up over a third of the book, and it’s not using the unique setting or characters.

I’m guessing that a lot of this is there to pay off in a future volume, but for now, it feels like wasted space and poor pacing choices. There’s also a problem with things being described in the text that would make for great images, but the art not showing them, particularly in the last few pages in the market. Howliss (the werewolf baby) is supposed to have caused great destruction, but we get one large panel that doesn’t look all that different from the previous shots of the scene.

The book (and products) have a cute idea, and I hope in future books we get to see more of it. Vamplets can be ordered from the current Diamond Previews catalog with code AUG13 0915. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)

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