Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nancy Drew, Vampire Hunter Graphic Novel, Part 2 by Stefan Petruchka, Sarah Kinney and Sho Murasame

Nancy Drew has been investigating Gregor Coffson, a new arrival in town, who is rumored to be a vampire. In fact, it's gotten to the point where even her friends, Beth and George, and her boyfriend Ned Nickerson, think that Gregor is an actual vampire. So when Nancy broke into his house to talk to him, it seemed that her friends might believe that he was merely the victim of rumors. But when the house locked, shutting Nancy and Gregor inside, and her friends and Ned outside, they revert to believing that Gregor is a vampire, and that he wants to kill Nancy and drink her blood. Or worse turn her into a vampire like himself.

Now, inside the house, Gregor and Nancy are menaced by a woman in a cloak who also believes that Gregor is a vampire and who wants to kill Gregor to keep the people of the world, and the town, safe. But who is this woman? When she attacks Nancy and Gregor, Gregor knocks her down and knocks her out.

He tells Nancy he didn't think he hurt her, but she says that the woman looks sick. They move her to a couch, and Gregor tells Nancy more about how and where he grew up. He also had a twin sister, but they were raised apart because the village they grew up in was very backwards and believed the worst about him and his sister, and his mother feared for their lives after their father died. She attempted to get their uncle to take them in, but he would take only one child, Gregor, who was the heir. So his sister stayed with their mother. After their mother died, his uncle was sick, so he couldn't go to the funeral, and he lost touch with his sister.

Nancy notices a great resemblance between the girl who wants to kill him and Gregor himself. But is this girl truly Gregor's sister, and if so, why does she want to kill him? And Outside, Nancy's friends have tied into the house's security cameras, and are watching the action inside and putting the exact wrong construction on what is happening inside. But when they finally break in and Gregor's attacker breaks free, can they save Nancy from the right villain and have the mystery end happily?

Well, this was only the second half of the story and I haven't read the first, but I felt like this story traded way too much on myths about what Porphyria is really like. I've known people with the disease and there are ways to treat it that don't involve hiding from the light and drinking fruit and vegetable juice. The whole way he treats the disease seemed awfully behind the times. But okay, the author was ramping up the drama for drama's sake. But do kids with actual porphyria need to have some book telling them that they are vampires (or werewolves, I've seen porphyria linked to that as well) or to misinform other people about the disease. I've known people with Porphyria and that's a really hurtful comparison to make.

Not only that, but I've read books about vampires in real life, and also read the reactions of sufferers of the disease to these sorts of portrayals (American Vampires by Nancy Dresser being just one book) and suffice to say, every time stuff like this comes out, they groan and get angry, because they know that they are going to have to explain themselves yet again because some author decided to go for the dramatic over the factual abd decided to blame some fairly obscure disease for symptoms of being a vampire.

So, I can't recommend this book at all. I haven't read many of the new Nancy Drew graphic novels, but this one sure turned me off with it's cliché attitude to a disease that some people portray as being cause for being called a vampire. I'd really have to steer people away from it with the harm that it might cause people who have porphyria and the general level of fail and playing to the angst and drama end of the spectrum. Not recommended at all.

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