BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER – Graphic Novel Review and Interview

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BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER

  • RELEASE DATE: Available Now (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
  • WRITTEN BY: Mark Landry
  • ILLUSTRATED BY: Ashley Marie Witter, Richard Pace

 BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER, the new graphic novel from screenwriter Mark Landry, features the tale of Virgil LaFleur; a member of the Coast Guard charged with rescuing citizens during the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. He does so admirably, but in a twist of fate is unable to save the lives of his parents. Adrift for years from the tragedy; Virgil begins to unravel a mystery linking the city of New Orleans’ elite to a secret cabal of vampires that are planning to use a new disaster; Hurricane Rose to prey on the less fortunate for sustenance. Along the way, Virgil becomes the living avatar of the superhero Who Dat, visits a church that is home to a coven of vampire whores and their cross dressing mountain of a boss, and vampire rats.

Filled with real world horror and sci-fi insanity in equal measure; BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER is a slick graphic novel that brings a surprising amount of pathos to what is ostensibly a superhero origin story mixed with pseudo-scientific creatures of the night. The situations are compelling as are the characters; especially the multi-layered star of the show Virgil; a once proud soldier who now will do anything he can to not only survive, but protect those that can’t protect themselves…even kill.

As strong as the storytelling is; the art in this volume is equally amazing (for the most part). For most of the story, the art chores are handles by Ashley Marie Witter who has a beautiful anime meets realism style that just meshes incredibly well with the story (which as stated also contains a blending of reality and fantasy). Things get a tad jarring in the finale of the yarn as the art chores are handed off to Richard Pace; a fantastic artist in his own right, whose gritty, scratchy style is a complete 180 from the art that proceeded it. Again; it isn’t bad, just a huge visual shift that takes a minute to get used to.

All in all, BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER gets a strong recommendation from your’s cruelly. It may be just what the doctor ordered for those of you that feel the standard fang bang tale is a bit long in the tooth (or if you’re lookin’ for a fresh take on the capes n’ tights crowd).

Since I enjoyed ol’ BLOODTHIRSTY so much; I invited the books author, Mark Landry, down to the ol’ Crypt o’ XIII for a ‘lil chit chat!

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DANIEL XIII. Please fill my coffin club in on the story of BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER.

Mark Landry. BLOODTHIRSTY: ONE NATION UNDER WATER introduces us to Virgil LaFleur, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who saved hundreds of lives in the flood of Hurricane Katrina. But he lost his family in the disaster, and is no longer able to go near the water. He’s something of a lost soul at the beginning of the story. But now as a new superstorm threatens New Orleans, Virgil starts to uncover a secret plot by the city’s corrupt elite – who are hemovores (non-supernatural vampires) – to feed on the blood of the less fortunate. With basically nothing left to live for, Virgil decides to stop them or die trying.

XIII. How did your own experiences of the events of Hurricane Katrina inform your story?

ML. I had already moved to Los Angeles a few years before Katrina and Rita struck (back-to-back) the Louisiana coastline. I was glued to CNN and calling loved ones – making sure they were OK. Thankfully, everyone I knew got out safely in the end, but some had harrowing stories of being trapped in this or that building in New Orleans for days, thinking they were going to die, etc. I felt a bit like I wasn’t there for them because I had left – there was some guilt. But I also felt a sense of indignation at what I saw as an entire set of injustices and human failures, which contributed to the cluster-F. There were so many ways in which it seemed the people of New Orleans had been let down: the I-walls (levees) shouldn’t have failed; the evacuation should have been more efficient; the government (with the exception of some of the military who were quick to the scene) at many levels was too slow to respond; and – oh, by the way – why are so many Americans living in poverty in the 21st century? The disaster exposed so many systemic problems in our society that – as a writer – I was moved to express something. Virgil’s frustration and his breaking point into action were the key pieces that set the ball rolling for this narrative.

XIII. Reading the tale I couldn’t help but see the story unfold like a movie. Do you have any plans on bringing BLOODTHIRSTY to the ol’ silver screen?

ML. I would love to see it brought into the live-action realm, for sure – whether it’s a feature or a series. I’ve had some discussions with people, but nothing solid at this point. There’s been some concern – believe it or not – about Virgil being non-white. In 2016. Diversity/inclusion issues aside, my feeling is that – any time you have characters that essentially don’t age (like the hemovore villains in “Bloodthirsty”), you have the potential to tell a richly developed series. We’ll see if projects like THE LOST BOYS series help or hurt the prospects. To be honest, the business of Hollywood is such that the best way to get anything made is to have had previous success with the original IP (the graphic novel has to either sell well or get onto the radar of someone with influence). I’m confident that someone with the ability to develop the project will eventually get their hands on it and resonate with the message.

XIII. Do you have any plans to continue the story of BLOODTHIRSTY?

ML. Creatively, yes. I’m developing stories both prior to the events of BLOODTHIRSTY as well as Virgil’s continuing adventures post-Hurricane Rose. Once those arcs are ironed out, I’ll focus on the practical aspects of getting them produced. As I said, there’s so much that can be done with one set of characters that age and another set of character that don’t age. We haven’t seen that explored much, though I hear THE LOST BOYS series will beat me to it, which is great for them. I’m looking forward to that show.

XIII. What are you working on next, and where can we keep up with you online?

ML. I’m working on a couple of feature scripts, one of which is thematically very similar to BLOODTHIRSTY and also involves vampires – supernatural vampires, though – not like the hemovores of BLOODTHIRSTY. I’m excited to see this one get produced, and can’t wait ‘til I can share it with everyone. For people who want to keep up with BLOODTHIRSTY or with me as a writer, they can check out www.bloodthirstycomic.com or follow me on Twitter. Thanks so much for taking the time to read BLOODTHIRSTY and for the opportunity to talk about it!

XIII. Fangs, Mark!

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