Title: Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story
Author(s): Anne Rice (Author) & Ashley Marie Witter (Illustrator)
Genre: Fiction/Horror & Fiction/Supernatural
Finished: February 21, 2013
Rating: 4 Stars
This comic book / graphic novel has gotten a fair bit of criticism because many feel it did not offer a fresh perspective on Claudia or the events of Interview with the Vampire, but was rather too close a story to the original written in Interview with the Vampire. I think that this is criticism too harsh. The novel Interview with the Vampire, told from the perspective of Louis, features Claudia as one of the main characters. This graphic novel does indeed follow the same timeline as Louis’s tale with little deviation to “new” event, but we do see a very distinctive Claudia perspective, with gives “new” insight into the events we know per Louis.
The illustrations done by Ashley Marie Witter were absolutely, no question, beautiful. Every character exuded delicate beauty—the expressions and movements were all immaculately wrought. I found the usage of color to be quite effective, as well. The novel was done in an off-white and black tone, aside from the occasional use of colors like red to emphasize blood. I felt that this occasional use of bold color added emotion, passion, and indeed violence to the appropriate scenes. It also expressed how very important blood is to the immortal… the only true vibrant color in the dark world.
It is true that the essential story is nothing new, but there were moments when the perspective of Claudia gave something new to an event. Because instead of seeing things from the eyes of Louis, we get to see Claudia as she was, as she thought, and come to understand a bit more about what motivated her. And, sadly, just how much she loved Louis. But yes, sometimes it was hard to keep track of the chronology. Maybe this was because I read this graphic novel at around 2am and my brain was not at full function. There were a few times when I had to reread a page or go back because I wasn’t sure where I was on a timeline. It was like in the span of one panel, we had gone forward in time and were now in an entirely different world location. But I blame this on my inexperience with comics and graphic novels in general.
Claudia’s Story is a beautifully rendered tale of one of the briefest but important vampires in the Chronicles. I feel absolutely that it is a necessity in the collection of any Anne Rice and Vampire Chronicle fan. You must at least read this graphic novel once. Instead of judging the “originality” of the story, soak up the beautiful art, the emotion expressed in wonderful pen strokes. Enjoy the story you know and love now presented to you in a new format, made into a work of visual art as much as it is a work of written art.