So, vampire month is almost over, and I am currently working on compiling my observations into a larger project. However, there’s one small issue that has been bothering me as I continue to consume vampire-related media, and I feel like discussing it right now.
Silver: Does it or does it not kill vampires?
Now, I’m just going to go out and say my opinion on the matter: Nope. Traditionally, silver is used to kill werewolves. Sunlight and wooden stakes kill vampires. Crosses, holy water, and garlic repels them. (Of course, there’s also ye old decapitation to stop a vampire, but that’s pretty gross.)
The Old Standbys
Let me clarify: When creating vampire movies and books, the creator can make up whatever rules they want. If you’re making a movie and you want your vampires to be allergic to kittens and candy, by all means, go ahead.
But, there’s just too many rules for monsters. In my own opinion, I prefer to simplify the problem. If I have a vampire slayer protagonist, I don’t want them squirming over whether to pick up the stake or the silver. I want hard rules.
Besides, Anne Rice agrees with me on the subject.
But, what does the reader personally think?
If you live in the Twin Cities area, you are quite aware that The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is filled with beautiful and inspiring works of art. Well, the other day I was in a romantic mood, so I located some of my favorite works that feature pink roses (my favorite type of flower), and I “picked” them with a camera and assembled them into a fine art blog bouquet. If you have access to the museum, maybe you could try to find them in the collection.
So, just about a week ago, some friends and I decided to go kayaking on some nearby lakes, interconnected by small straits. It was a fun and pleasant excursion, and I intend to do some kayaking again soon. However, an incident occurred during the short kayaking trip that was slightly distressing.
I shared a kayak with another artist friend of mine, and we came upon a strange creature that was foraging for food along the banks of a narrow strait. It was small with a light face and a dark body. It scurried near the shore, seemingly unfazed by the nearby kayakers.
“It’s a possum!” my friend exclaimed.
“No,” someone in our kayaking party said, “That can’t be a possum, it’s too small.”
We decided to go closer and get a better look. It didn’t take long for us to finally identify the creature. It was a wild rat. Not just a rat, but a rat with an entirely bald head. It was a little, rodent vulture. I shrieked for us to retreat from it and to back up the kayak. I could just envision a traumatic event to follow: the rat looks up from its foraging, its eyes suddenly turn red, and it squeals as it jumps into our kayak to attack our faces.
I really have sympathy for the animal. Perhaps it was ill. Perhaps it had been attacked by another animal. But, it was a rat. And, it had no hair on its face. That’s messed up. It was something I did not want jumping into the kayak. We quickly paddled away. The next day, me and my artist friend made ink illustrations of the dreaded, bald rat.
Bald Rat by W. Woods
Bald Rat by Kathleen Rule http://www.kathleenrule.com/
I have dubbed June “Vampire Month.” My goal: To read and watch as many vampire books and movies as I can in one month. Why June? ‘Cause. That’s why.
Just to be clear, I don’t believe in vampires. I don’t fantasize about being one or dating one. I’m not a huge Twilight fan, and although I did have a regrettable goth period in high school, I don’t go with the goth look anymore.
Note: Ok, Ok. I do have a small, unimposing vampire tattoo. But, this particular vampire was a character I routinely created when making comics and stories as a kid. It’s more a reminder of my childhood than a salute to vampires.
I love good literature and film. Dark, weird, and macabre are usually the traits I look for in the media I consume. There are also such varied interpretations of the vampire myth, exploring many different themes; it just doesn’t get old for me.
In addition, I like to give myself projects outside of my usual art making. In between creating work, I find it beneficial to read and learn. The more I know, the more inspiration I get. After this experiment, I plan to create my own illustration project that explores my vampire findings. Stay tuned…