This volume follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King. Snyder's story is set in 1920's LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European Vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King's story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original American Vampire-- a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before with rattlesnake fangs and powered by the sun.
American Vampire is two stories, both linked together. We meet Pearl in 1925 when she's turned into a Vampire by Skinner Sweet, whose story in the past dominates most of the second half of the comic, spilling into the first half too. I found Pearl much more interesting so I wish there was less focus on Skinner. However Stephen King is writing Skinner's half so I guess he got more leeway.
Pearl's story is simple enough, an aspiring actress she's working as an extra for a Hollywood movie with her friend, Hattie. Invited to a party one night she thinks she has an opportunity to make her way to stardom but instead she finds herself thrown to a hoard of Vampires.
Skinner's story is old Wild West and a little confusing in parts. His story is told by an old man (whose name escapes me) who followed Skinner's story over the years and chronicles everything in his book, Bad Blood. He knows Vampires are real but the audience he's telling the story to aren't sold.
Stephen King seemed to have an issue with fleshing out female characters in his section, as the only one that really stood out was a terrible, terrible character. You know those really whiny types that throw themselves at any man and are just melodramatic about anything ("Oh, Eric, the carrots are not in season!") to the point where you kind of wish they would die? Abilena was all that and worse.
The artwork is lovely with plenty of blood and gore and some fantastically evil Vampires but I do think this series is a slow starter. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes in future volumes and how far into the future we'll travel with Skinner and Pearl.