PREVIEW: ‘Tales Of The Vampires: Carpe Noctem’ — When Buffy’s Foes Get Famous!

One year ago, the status quo of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” universe was turned on its head when onetime Sunnydale High cheerleader and full-time vampire Harmony Kendall made vampires “cool.” Now inspiring envy instead of fear,and flashing their fangs to get into the hottest clubs, vampires are the “it” crowd.

So they should all be happy about it, right? Not so, according to “Tales Of The Vampires: Carpe Noctem” author Jackie Kessler.

In the a two-part series hitting MySpace Dark Horse Presents in February, Kessler puts the spotlight on a pair of vampires with very different feelings about bloodsuckers’ new celebrity. And we have your first, exclusive look at “Carpe Noctem” here on Splash Page.

The author of urban fantasy series “Hell On Earth” and other novels and young-adult fiction, Kessler said she took to the tone and themes of the “Buffy”-verse with ease. In “Carpe Noctem,” Kessler chronicles a tale of vampire nest-mates Cyn and Ash — the former a gothic vamp who’s not exactly thrilled with the new environment, and the latter a party girl who loves the celebrity status her fangs get her.

“I wanted to play with that notion,” explained Kessler. “Now that vampires don’t have to be the creatures under the bed and don’t need to hunt in secret, what’s that like? There’s got to be some vampires who are loving it, but there also have to be some vampires who don’t like it.”

“What if you enjoyed being a monster and suddenly you’re not a monster anymore and everyone wants to be you? That’s got to suck a little bit,” she laughed. “Suddenly vampires are not only outed to the world, but they’re celebrities. They don’t just glitter — they’re amazing.”

Kessler indicated that the focus of the story is a distinct departure form the current “Buffy” narrative in the comics, as the slayer and her crew are currently embroiled in an all-out war with the mysterious villain Twilight.

“I wanted to explore what’s happening in the world according to vampires, because we’re not getting to see a lot of that in ’Season Eight’ right now,” she explained. “It’s understandably focusing on Buffy and her companions.”

As for any of the familiar faces from the “Buffy”-verse, Kessler indicated that only one character owuld be making a cameo in the series: the vampire who started it all, Harmony Kendall. But don’t worry, fans should expect more of the same things that made them fans of the franchise, she promised — because she’s a fan, too.

“I love the characters, the irreverence, the wit, and not being afraid to take action. There’s so much fun in the battle of good versus evil — what’s there not to like about it?” she laughed.

The first chapter of “Tales of the Vampires: Carpe Noctem” hits MySpace Dark Horse Presents in February, but you can check out the full chapter here on Splash Page now! Click on the page below for the exclusive, eight-page debut of “Carpe Noctem,” featuring a story by Jackie Kessler and art by Paul Lee.

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