Sunday, June 10, 2007

The publication of The Clan of the Poes

The previous page is what I believe is the end of the first 31-page installment of the 4-part story "The Clan of the Poes," as it was originally serialized from September to December 1972 issues of Bessatsu Shojo Komikku.

Unlike earlier stories which mainly focus on interactions with vampires from a human perspective, we finally get to see the inner life of the vampires. The background is all laid out now, and to me, this is where the story really starts to get compelling.

In "The Village of the Poes" we saw that vampires kept to themselves and avoided interaction with humans. Apparently Marybel's poor health requires new blood and forces the Portsnells to leave the safety of the secluded village.

Edgar, an unwilling vampire, experiences deep existential anxiety and remorse, and despite the rules against bringing non-adults into the clan, he sets his mind on Allan.

Allan also suffers from mind-boggling pressures and deep distrust of others as the sole heir to a great fortune. He is actually a caring, sensitive and complex kid compared to how Paris Hilton turned out.

Two deeply solitary souls repel and attract each other like magnets, setting the stage for the next installment. I am amazed at the mastery of storytelling Hagio displayed at a mere 21.

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