Upside Down: A Vampire Tale
Creator, Writer, and Artist: Jess Smart Smiley
Top Shelf Productions
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Cover Price: $9.95
A personal admission here: I love vampire comics. Always have, always will. So I never turn down the chance to read a new one. Now, having said that, I was not aware that Upside Down: A Vampire Tale was a comic geared mainly towards the younger crowd. Surprise!
Presented in three colors, this graphic novel is lighthearted and entertaining at the most basic level. Centering around a young vampire named Harold, this tale has everything from witches to vampire frogs and most things in between. This entire misadventure starts off with a visit to the dentist but unfortunately things go a little “batty” very quickly. Of course, if Harold didn’t eat so much candy then maybe that visit wouldn’t have had to take place at all. The tale itself is actually a group of small stories. Each one building upon the last until the reader is able to see how Harold comes full circle and like any good fable, this one is easy to understand when completed.
Jess Smart Smiley presents all of this with extremely simplistic art. And while I personally wasn’t all that fond of the graphics, I can see that it would be well received by children. He kept the dialogue on par with this minimalistic presentation, too. All said, I let my youngest read it and she loved the story and the art, so go figure. I’m guessing I wasn’t the primary demographic for whom this was created.
In summation, I would probably recommend this to any adolescents who are looking to branch out from the basic superhero comic. And I can appreciate the moral and the effort that went into the making of this graphic novel, as it’s no easy task by any stretch of the imagination. So give it a try if you want a lighter and younger theme or have wee ones who might have an interest…it’s definitely a change of pace from the usual fare.