Author Topic: Baltimore: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire  (Read 1069 times)

Big Bad Wolf

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Baltimore: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire
« on: May 07, 2014, 09:58:43 AM »

Anyone else here read this book? I think you guys might dig it. It's by Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, and Christopher Golden. Mignola also provides moody illustrations throughout the book. It's since become a comic series like Hellboy, which has expanded on the mythology and the story a great deal, but the original novel is still a real treat.

It's actually two things in one. On one level it's a fantastic vampire novel with an epic scale, as a truly badass vampire hunter makes it his sole mission in life to wipe each and every vampire, starting with the one that murdered his family. It's set after the First World War, which has ended prematurely thanks to the vampire plague that's spread throughout Europe (an allusion to the 1918 flu epidemic perhaps). These vampires are terrifying, and don't let the pandemic element fool you: these aren't sci-fi vampires. They are imbued with all the supernatural terror that's been stripped of them in recent days.

Meanwhile, in addition to being a moody gothic vampire novel, it's also something of an anthology! After early chapters detailing Lord Baltimore's origin, the story shifts to three men who knew him at various times in their lives, as they meet in an inn and tell stories. Each tells two tales: the story of how they met Baltimore, and a tale of supernatural menace that they have encountered in their own lives. This broadens the scope of the novel beyond just vampires. Structurally this might remind you guys of the old Amicus portmanteau films like Dr. Terror's House of Horrors or Tales From The Crypt.

As with a lot of Mignola's work it's very Gothic, moreso than his other stuff I'd argue, with a menacing and dreadful tone throughout. His take on the supernatural has almost always combined Lovecraftian existentialist terror with old European folklore, and that's true with this story as well.

All in all I highly recommend it to you guys if you haven't read it already.
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Re: Baltimore: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 08:38:50 PM »
Thanks for the heads up, I have never seen this at my shop, series included.

I will check it out.
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