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The Strain, Book One

by David Lapham, E. M. Gist (Cover artist), Mike Huddleston (Illustrator), Dan Jackson (Illustrator)

Other authors: Guillermo Del Toro (Creator), Chuck Hogan (Introduction)

Series: The Strain (HC, issues 1-11), The Strain comics (1-11)

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202936,355 (3.67)None
Chilling graphic adaptation of Guillermo Del Toro's best-selling novel, with a television series premiering in July 2014. When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event - an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness. In one week, Manhattan will be gone.… (more)
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Death, horror, and vampires all wrapped up in a graphic novel! This is the first TWO original volumes combined into one book! This was something I could not pass up. Although, I must confess, when I first got this, I had not fully read the summary so based on the covers and images I had scene with the biohazard warnings, I expected zombies. Still, I was very happy to have read this and more to come below and the vampire/zombie confusion.

The book centers mostly on CDC expert Dr. Goodweather and his partner. They are on assignment to figured out why a plane lands and then suddenly everyone in the plane mysteriously dies. But as the doctor and his partner investigate further, they learn the passengers are not "dead" for long. They come back as vampires and start attacking others. A race against time with enemies on all sides.

We mainly follow The good doctor as he struggles to balance his home life and work. He is in an ugly custody battle for his son when this all goes down. There is some great personal relations going on in the book. At first he is facing a medical mystery. Then a violent nightmare! In addition to his character we also get snippets into other officers, doctors, victims and a villain who is using his power and money to destroy mankind.

The art is very well done. Each character unique and very expressive. The violence is very graphic. And please note, very mature artwork containing violence and nudity. While I can enjoy what is in this, I would be horrified if a child got their hands on this! Great detail is given on every image. And it is very well done. The full page inserts were especially well done! The characters looked almost real. The only thing less that thrilling were that many of the "vampires" looked the same. But I will blame that on the transformation they undergo.

Speaking of the vampire concept, I still think of them as more zombie like. Besides their blood being drained and then filled with a white fluid replacement they are more zombie in reactions, behavior and overall looks. The exception is the "Masters." They way the move and attack very zombie like. Although they do burn in sunlight. Still, with how their stinger/tongues work these are some nasty, weird creatures of the night!

Now I love the concept! It is dark, fast-paced and will have you on edge and looking at the images with a twisted sense of glee. I love how the doctor meets one who is well familiar with the vampires but by doing so has even more consequences. Lots of action and great characterization fill these pages. My favorite character so far is the rat exterminator. Smart, logical, level headed and witty. I hope to see more of him in the future volumes.

Fans of the Walking Dead will likely enjoy this. The characters do not have quite the depth yet, but they and the story are constantly improving as it moves along. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future volumes.



**I received this for review via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own**


( )
  jljaina | May 16, 2015 |
Having read the entire series when the books were first released, this reading of the graphic novel was nothing more than an opportunity to see the story in pictures, as Guillermo Del Toro imagined it to be as he was writing the novels. Anyone else looking to do the same will not be disappointed. Similarly, fans of horror will find much to love about the graphic rendering of this creepy story.

It must be stated that while Del Toro himself calls this a vampire story, the illustrations prove without a doubt that these nasty creatures are not vampires. The tentacles protruding from their mouths are all the visual proof one needs to realize this. Then there is the method by which the creatures reproduce. Again, this has nothing to do with the vampire mythology but more with the zombie myths. If anything, to call this series a vampire story does the series a disservice because the creatures are much nastier than any of the vampire iterations established throughout the years.

One other thing to strike readers perusing the graphic novel is the characters themselves. There is an otherworldly aspect about all of the illustrations that hints at the darkness to come, both literally as the story progresses and figuratively in the characters’ actions. All of the characters appear larger than life, more cartoonish than realistic, but rather than making them clownish, these details help showcase the stakes each character faces and the huge leaps of faith and development they must make if they stand a chance of survival.

The graphic novel version of The Strain is a faithful rendering of the original story with the added bonus of terrifying images sanctioned by the authors. These illustrations drive home the point that these things are no longer human and a true scourge on society. Having the visual cues to coincide with the written ones makes The Strain one of the scarier novels to read. In other words, it is something true horror fans should not miss.
  jmchshannon | Jul 31, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lapham, DavidAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gist, E. M.Cover artistmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Huddleston, MikeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, DanIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Del Toro, GuillermoCreatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hogan, ChuckIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This volume collects issues 1-11 of the graphic novel The Strain. Do not combine it with the graphic novel The Strain Volume One (issues 1-6) or the regular text-only book The Strain.
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Chilling graphic adaptation of Guillermo Del Toro's best-selling novel, with a television series premiering in July 2014. When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event - an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness. In one week, Manhattan will be gone.

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