Originally published at Fangoria.com on March 12, 2011
VAMPIRE CHEERLEADERS/PARANORMAL MYSTERY SQUAD Vol. 1 (Seven Seas Entertainment) offers a good story of horror and comedy. In the first tale, vampire cheerleaders are running rampant at their local high school. In the following tale, a paranormal mystery squad falls prey to a hungry pack of werewolves. Simple but always hilarious, readers should be on the lookout for this comic book!
In the narrative’s first half, cheerleading tryouts are starting at Bakertown High School. Lori, the team captain, is looking for a specific type of junior to join the squad. She needs someone sweet and innocent, but overflowing with high spirit. As a newcomer, Heather thinks her popularity will skyrocket now that she joined the team. Trapped in the locker room, the vampire cheerleaders bite Heather and turn her into a bloodsucker.
In a hilarious sequence of events, Heather is trained on how to become a successful vampire. Before she can drink a person’s blood, though, she has to practice biting into a melon first. Just like her teammates, she has to buy a bulk of sunscreen lotion to prevent herself from burning in the daylight. Like clockwork, Heather joins the others as they hit up the tanning salon, four times a week. After a taste of blood, this rookie cannot control herself when she vamps out on the entire football team.
The story’s second half starts off with the Paranormal Mystery Squad in trouble of losing their funding. Stephanie Kane, the leader, has trouble keeping her anger in control. Her best friend, Charlotte Roth, is a witch with spellbinding powers. Stephanie’s kid sister, Katie, joins the team on assignments while attending high school at the same time.
A local farmer needs the team’s help after his cattle has been slaughtered. The mystery squad believes there is a chupacabra lurking around the woods. None of the squad members realize the farmer has been lying to them. The farmer’s son is actually a werewolf, and the entire team is his food supply.
Creator and author Adam Arnold has a humorous writing style that keeps hitting the punchlines. Both stories are well-developed through wit and character development. Readers though should be prepared to read the dialogue balloons differently. In true manga fashion, your eyes will have to read from right to left. Unless you have read the DEATH NOTE series before, like this critic has, new readers will find this uncomfortable at first.
Artists Shiei and Comipa emphasize the anime visual style through character design, like Stephanie Kane’s maid outfit. Their exaggerated facial expressions work with the comic mischief. The all-out battle between Stephanie and the pack of werewolves is this comic book’s highlight. The nonstop action runs at full speed and ends with a climatic explosion.
VAMPIRE CHEERLEADERS/PARANORMAL MYSTERY SQUAD Vol. 1 is an overall fun comic book to read. Fresh with humor, fans will undoubtedly be entertained by both tales. There is nothing funnier than a vampire who can’t bite a melon! For more info, head over to the official website here.