Comics Features

REVIEW: Vamplets: The Nightmare Nursery

Vamplets is an adorable comic that starts out with an odd concept. Vampyre babies are appearing as rapidly as baby rabbits, and seeing as it takes a village to raise a child–or in this case, 777 years to raise a vampyre baby–a lot of vampyre babies have been dropped off at the local nursery. The dark and gloomy town of Gloomvania is overrun with out-of-control supernatural babies, including werewolf and zombie babies.

Deciding to outsource the problem, a rather large moth is sent to the Outerworld to find a governess to run the nursery and to deal with the overpopulation of supernatural babies. Here enters Destiny, who is a more carefree and G-rated version of Lydia from Beetlejuice. Lover of bizarre and strange things and having no clue what she wants to do with the rest of her life, Destiny’s the perfect girl for the job. Except for the fact that she didn’t really sign up to be trapped in a world that’s upside down from our own, where scary is beautiful and cute is downright repulsive.

The first two chapters of Vamplets create an interesting beginning to this comic series. Destiny’s left to the impossible task of taking care of out-of-control magical babies, dealing with immortals who would rather feed her to the zombies than let her take care of these rugrats, and sneaking in her new friend, Rachet, who’s considered a second-class citizen since he’s a stinkbug without any stink. If there ever was a more stressful time, then I don’t know about it.

Gayle Middleton and Dave Dwonch bring such a wonderful world to life, particularly Destiny. Even though she’s bored with her life at the corndog stand, she still finds happiness in her life. She doesn’t know what she wants to do after graduation, and yet she still smiles in the face of a bored guidance counselor. She takes being kidnapped and forced into a governess job pretty well, not completely complacent, but she handles it, and the evening she spends sassing a shrunken head is hilarious.

The artwork lends itself beautifully to the writing, creating magnificent looking creatures that inhabit Gloomvania. Amanda Coronado‘s and Bill Blankenship‘s work does a fantastic job of showing the ugly-beauty of Gloomvania. It’s easy to see the horrible creatures that live there as beautiful, even when they’re supposed to be scary-looking. And I can honestly say that some of my favorite pages are just those depicting Gloomvania.

And the little baby creatures are honestly to die for. They are so cute, no matter how much terror and destruction they leave in their wake.

This comic is obviously geared towards a younger audience, and it definitely fits itself between the grown-up ideas of inequality and silly humor and circumstance.  At one point Destiny imagines one of the most horrible and terrifying things ever: tiny pink kittens frolicking on clouds. Rachet is completely amazed at Destiny’s ability to endure such torture, and silly moments like these are found throughout the comic.

But even though it’s for a younger audience, I still enjoyed it as someone in their early twenties. The core of the story is about Destiny trying to figure out her, for lack of a better word, destiny, and people of all ages can identify with that.

So whether you’re 12 or 42, Vamplets: The Nightmare Nursery is a fun comic that brings you into a crazy world of creatures, but more importantly, out-of-control creature babies.

What do you think of Vamplets?  Would you be able to take care of vampyre babies running amok?  Let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter feed.

About the author

Brittany Carr