American Vampire Volume Six
Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque Plus stories by Jason Aaron, Becky Cloonan, Greg Rucka, and more!
Scott Snyder needed a break from American Vampire before the start of Cycle Two of the series, but he found a really cool way to fill in the gap. This volume collects two one-shots. The first is The Long Road To Hell which features the return of vampire hunter Travis Kidd ("I like to bite them back"). But the focus is on a couple named Billy Bob and Jolene. They run afoul of vampires, and find themselves part of Oscar Brood's army. They make their escape and are on their way to Las Vegas for a supposed cure before they run into Travis. Their story ends with this issue, but they pick up a mysterious kid named Jasper who may reappear. Snyder and Albuquerque are both credited with the story, but Albuquerque gets a shot at both the script and the art. He does such a good job that I didn't realize that Snyder wasn't the writer until I checked the credits later.
The bigger half of the collection is devoted to American Vampire Anthology, which gives a wide variety of creators space to create short tales in this world. Snyder and Albuquerque assume their usual roles for the 1967 Skinner Sweet framing story. Then the timeline shifts all the way back to Colonial times for writer Jason Aaron & artist Declan Shalvey's "Lost Colony," a tale of the earliest vampires in the New World. The chronology keeps moving forward from there: Kansas, 1856 is written by Albuquerque alone, with art from Ivo Milazzo in a bright watercolor style that is a dramatic contrast with the usual art for the series.
The rest of the creator list is so strong that I have to list them all: Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes tell a Canadian story; Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, and the Gabriel Bá/Fábio Moon team each cover writing and art duties for their tales. There are also two remarkable teams: Gail Simone & Tula Lotay, and Greg Rucka & JP Leon. This may have been a placeholder, but it came out so well that I'd love to see it done again.