cover image Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer

Van Jensen, . . Slave Labor Graphics, $10.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-1-59362-176-6

This enjoyable reworking of Carlo Collodi's classic tale drops the magically animated puppet into a horror movie plot. After his maker/father Geppetto is killed by vampires, Pinocchio tries to protect the disbelieving inhabitants of his village, aided only by woodcarver Master Cherry, a greatly aged Blue Fairy and the ghost of the nagging cricket he squashed some time ago. As that last reference indicates, this is not the sentimentalized Disney version of the story; the protagonist of this book is one tough little puppet. Furthermore, although he's no Buffy Summers, as a vampire fighter Pinocchio has the advantage of a built-in wooden stake—as long as he remembers to tell lies at the right time. Jensen's script is clever, full of irreverent irony. But the highlight of the book is Higgins's b&w art that offers page after page of amazement. Swirling, whirling, jittery, skittery, the story dances gracefully from grin to grimace and back again. (Nov.)