Vampire: the Masquerade: Winters Teeth – Comic Book Review
I’m a sucker for a vampire.
Sometimes, however, they are done so well that it seems even more totally unfathomable that anyone could possibly prefer werewolves. This is one of those times.
An illustrious RPG classic, Vampire: the Masquerade has finally come to comics with Winter’s Teeth, from the inimitable crew at Vault. To say that this transition has been made seamlessly is an understatement. Bold to claim, I know, but I stand by it – and I’ll tell you why.
I won’t tread too much on the lore and backstory of the Vampire: the Masquerade world, given that right off the bat in volume one, the team do a healthy bit of exposition in establishing a few major clans. No way am I going to be responsible for ruining that beautifully drawn discovery for you.
Suffice it to say that our protagonist, Cecily Bain, is a member of the Brujah clan – scrappy, self-sufficient, and stone cold. Also, I am in love with her. (Honestly, I think Tim Seeley has a direct line into my brain and just writes women who I am destined to adore; Cassie Hack taught me a lot about myself…).
Anyway, Cecily is an enforcer of the Twin Cities, working on keeping the peace between the two as they are both united under the rule of one vampire leader, Prince Samantha while living among the humans. It’s an unusual set-up, and trouble is simmering under the polish.
Winter’s Teeth Got Bite
Something about Vampire: the Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth feel incredibly classic. From the pencils to the colours, it all feels like a balmy, nostalgic dream. These aesthetic choices gave me everything I ever wanted not just from Vampire: The Masquerade. It is well known that the rulebook for the RPG system tends to err more toward the photographic as opposed to the illustrative. A fair enough choice, but it just feels like my old MySpace profile. As a result, the whole vibe of the printed assets for the game just never sat right with me. Now, however, all sins have been forgiven. Winter’s Teeth gives me all the blood-sucking wish fulfilment I ever wanted, and I couldn’t be happier.
Bain of my Life
Among said artistic choices are some real gems. Super dynamic movement, pastel pink narration boxes, gorgeously globular blood – it really is a veritable feast. However, whilst we may be in this finely drawn world of vampires, there are plenty of human problems on the table, too. Family members with advancing Alzheimers, found families, messy relationships, and a missing sense of belonging; not as other-worldly as you’d think, eh?
Though the creative teams are split between the two storylines, the ball is not dropped for a second. In fact, this choice works beautifully. Though the writers and artists differ, the use of the same colourist and letterer means that there is an undeniable and subtle cohesion between the two tales.
I could extol the virtues of Vampire: the Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth all day (and night), but the tabasco in the Bloody Mary is the inclusion of supplements for the RPG that turn our protagonists into fully playable characters within the mother-system. Guess who I’m gonna be rolling from now on…
To say this adaptation was gamble doesn’t seem right, or fair. A “gamble” would suggest that there was doubt in my mind that the team involved could pull it off, and this was never for a second up for discussion. It certainly was a huge undertaking though, but the fact this cult classic was undertaken by such sure, steady, and certain hands means that now we have a reimagined masterpiece.
If you’re a sucker for vampires or just excellent comics, then Vampire: the Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth needs to jump to the top of your pull list. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for Volume 2, and so will you.
Check out more of our Vault Comics reviews here!
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