The Annotated Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter #7

While 2007 was really the year that my series of annotations for the Anita Blake comics really rose to prominence in the world of academia, it’s worth noting that we here at the ISB Research Department ended the year on a bit of a down note.

Yes, as some of you might recall, last November saw me receiving an autographed copy of the first Anita Blake hardcover from an anonymous benefactor. Normally, this would’ve brightened my day right up, but this one was bittersweet, as it came with the knowledge that Darla Cook, personal assistant to Laurenn J. Framingham herself, had never heard of of me.

You can imagine the heartbreak.

But no matter! We don’t do this sort of thing for the recognition, and with my New Year’s Resolution to rededicate the ISB to the barely disguised mockery and scorn scholarly analysis that you’ve all come to expect, now’s the time to jump right back in and slug it out with Marvel’s recent Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures #7.

Grab your own copy and follow along!



1.3: Hey everybody, it’s Phillip!



Phillip, for those of you who made the wise decision to block out all memories involving mesh t-shirts in the nine months since the last issue, is the vampire-loving male stripper that Anita pressgangs into taking her to oh my God his ears are massive.

Sorry, but… Just look at those things! They’re like Hobbit ears! They’re like an industrial funnel attached itself to a prepubescent John Oates! It’s like… Oh man…

You don’t think he can hear me, do you?


2.1 – 2.3: No, you’re not caught in some sort of time-loop where events repeat themselves ad nauseum, no matter how much it might like it. As depicted in the panel above, this actually marks the second sequence in the series so far where Anita is forced to make out with some dude in order to save her own life and feels conflicted because they’re just so hunky! So, you know, yet another example of the strong female character that is Anita Blake.


2.3: If I had to describe this series in exactly one word, I think I’d go with…



Whoops, wrong picture! Oh well, probably just best to move on.


3.3: In this panel, Anita tells Phillip that he looks “like an ad for Rent-A-Gigolo.” Putting aside the fact athat Phillip actually looks like an ad for a Dadaist production of Dumbo, “Rent-A-Gigolo” is a pretty redundant term, as male prostitutes are, by definition, rented.


3.7: Hey Brett Booth! Is there any way you could make the breasts in this comic less attractive?



Oh, ritual scarification! Good one!


4.1: You know, I’ve seen the Anita Blake series described as “erotic horror,” and while the alleged eroticism continues to elude me, after seeing a woman who resembles a zaftig David Bowie circa 1973 descending on a man like a lion bringing down a gazelle on the Serengetti…



… I can definitely grasp the horror part.


4.7: Hey Anita, could you describe what it was like being the subject of these in-depth examinations here on the ISB?



Yeah, well. It hasn’t exactly been a picnic on this end, either.


5.6: Now, I’m no carpenter here or anything, but is this supposed to be a gate?



Really? What’s it supposed to keep out, rectangles? Sheesh.

Also, on an unrelated note, “You said chickens weren’t enough, so we got you a goat” was the exact same sentence my dad said right before my mom filed for divorce.


5.1: So, everybody remembers Theresa, right? No? Well, that might be because she last appeared in the first issue of Anita Blake, which came out something like six million years ago. Anyway, here she is again, all tarted up for some Zombifying:



And really: I don’t care how much you paid for it at the RenFaire, when even Anita Blake’s rolling her eyes at your outfit, you’re probably overdoing it just a shade.


7.3: And it is at this point that the issue goes completely off the rails. Okay, look: I realize that I normally try to keep up the apperance of scholarship with these things, and that that is, in essence, the entire joke, but this thing is awful. Just awful, and it all starts right here with what is unquestionably the most boring voodoo ritual since I drunk-dialed Miss Cleo. It makes Weekend at Bernie’s 2 look like Sugar Hill.

There are scenes where Anita and her new friend Zack Morris literally walk around in a circle, and while they tersely claim they’re doing magic, they’re really just slowing things down to a pace so glacial that it would defy any attempt at making fun of it, sending a lesser man scrambling for the mind-erasing comfort of the bottle. You win this round, Hamilton.
Incidentally, said ritual also involves Zack leaving a big bloody handprint on Anita’s rack, marking the second time this issue that she’s been groped in the line of duty.


10.1: Readers might be used to seeing that Anita has hips that are roughly the width of a Volswagen Minibus, but it isn’t apparent until this scene that Zack has legs that ought to allow him to do a standing thirty-foot high jump:



Also of note: What is apparently a second, Dali-esque set of pectoral muscles that are oozing down his ribcage, and seriously, is there nowhere in St. Louis where a man can buy a shirt?


19.3: The sequence that starts on page 17 marks the return of Nikolaos, the vampire capo that, in a mind-shattering twist worthy of the finest episodes of A Pup Named Scooby Doo, turns out to be a little girl, but it’s in this scene where she has her defining moment, delivering what is unquestionably the most pretentious sentence ever written by anyone ever:



“Call it shadow feeding.” Yeah.

How about we just call it a night instead?

37 thoughts on “The Annotated Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter #7

  1. The first seven pages of Anita Blake #8 will contain naught but frame upon frame of Nikolaos’ long, flowing hair.

    And the rest will have, I dunno, some really pale people saying and doing stupid things.

  2. You know even as someone who ENJOYED the first half-dozen books in this series, this comic is some UTTER crap. You should stick with GOOD comics like Dark Xena

  3. I know this has probably been asked before, but doesn’t that long lock of hair that perpetually hangs in her face no matter what tickle? Or does she constantly blow at it when she’s off-panel…?

    Or could it be a tattoo or birthmark or scar or magic marker drawing?

  4. Your sacrifice is appreciated, Chris.

    Theresa… I’m sorry hen, but there’s only one woman in comics who could pull off a dress like that and she’s got green skin and yellow spots round her eyes. And I’m pretty sure even she draws the line at stick-on red plastic ‘rubies’.

    Is Zack Morris supposed to be the same guy from Saved by the Bell? I didn’t know he was a fawn.

  5. As a St. Louisan, I know for a fact that there is no place to buy shirts for guys. It’s unfortunate, really. We had nine inches of snow a few weeks back and all of the guys were outside shoveling their drives without shirts on. Luckily, all of St. Louis is actually undead, so cold really isn’t a factor.

  6. The geek in me has to make the “totally-misses-the-point” comment that this would be more correct:

    a woman who resembles a zaftig David Bowie circa 1979

    I feel dirty.

  7. Ah Chris, you’re the guy that throws himself on the live grenade, so that others might live. Seriously, how you can read this stuff, and still frame a coherent sentence is utterly amazing.

  8. To reiterate the first comment- why is Philip disintegrating in that first panel? Why is Anita and.. whomever tacked on to the bottom of the panel that features Theresa? (Unless they’re sitting down, the actual angles and depth perception needed to have them appear eye-level with her ass and yet still be in focus is incredible. And it’s lazy drawing.) Why is Theresa gifted with the monster-sized (and creepy) hands while poor Anita gets the Smurfette grip on the cover? Why doesn’t anyone read a “How to Draw Human Anatomy” anymore? Why do I care? Oh, right, I don’t. You do it Chris, so I don’t have to. You’re a saint!

  9. Why would Phillip bite-these-women-on-the- boob ™? Is he the kind of vampire who drinks silicone?

  10. BTW, I’m super-glad that Chris reads these so we don’t have to, but snarking on their delays reminds me of the old joke about the resturant’s food being terrible and its portions being too small.

  11. What’s all over Philip (besides Anita) in that first picture? It looks like he has “the mange” or something. What’s that all about?

  12. it sucks when you post something that other bloggers have already talked about way back, and you get so many responses.

    Then again, this is way funnier

  13. I could laugh at some of your comments on the last few Anita Blake issues, but this time around I feel little more than pity for the shmuck who wrote this comic.

  14. That first picture of Phillip has left me haunted with the question: what exactly is the dark matter smattering Philip’s upper body? Has the artist simply never seen a man with body hair? Or does making out with Anita cause him to break out in hives? Or…is Phillip actually a human-shaped Chia pet sent from the future to bust the vampire world wide open just as soon as his body becomes accustomed to the lack of hydration so he can take his clothes off in front of those more observant than our intrepid heroine?!

    *sigh* Like any great story, Anita Blake seems to leave me with more questions than answers.

  15. “unquestionably the most boring voodoo ritual since I drunk-dialed Miss Cleo.”

    Lines like THAT is why you are the God of Comic Commentary, Mr. Sims, and the rest of us are mere mortals worshiping at your feet.

    As another person who quite enjoyed the Anita Blake series until LKH descended into the realm of complete self-indulgence via incredibly tedious and boring-as-hell sex scenes that went on forever, not to rampant Mary Sue-ism and annoying-ass characterization, I have to say… it’s really, really ass as a comic. (Not that it was High Literature as a book, of course.)

    BTW, the stuff on Philip are all his vampire bite scars.

  16. That first picture of Phillip has left me haunted with the question: what exactly is the dark matter smattering Philip’s upper body?

    It’s lupus.

    Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot that it’s never lupus. It is, as Bourgeois Nerd says, a complex network of vampire bite scars that Phillip presumably got from Jean-Claude, whom ISB readers will recall as the James-From-Team-Rocket analogue of the first few issues.

  17. It blows my mind how bad this comic is. I read the first novel years ago – it wasn’t my cup of tea but it was decently written, Anita was pretty kick-ass, and I could at least understand why people liked it.

    Now I walk into freakin’ Barnes and Nobles and there’s Anita in all her quadricepual glory on the front display racks. And that was the week after Scott Pilgrim 4 came out. Truly there is no justice in the world.

  18. Holy crap! That first picture makes me think the artist’s been taking anatomy/spinal curvature lessons from Rob Liefeld!

    I tried to make my back bend like that and failed miserably.

  19. Man, I loved the book series but this comic series is soooo drawn out on one of these least interesting books!

    BTW it’s not mange on Phillip, they’re actually a really poor rendition of the massive scaring he has b/c of his “biting fetish”. He dosen’t just bite women, he’s every vamps dinner that wants him.

  20. I have to say I only read the first Anita Blake comic series and I kind of enjoyed it. I LOVED the series and I think I just liked seeing what LKH seen sorta. But seriously love the commentary on it. Got to admit it was funny as hell and most of it true!!!!

  21. First I just have to say, this comic was begging for a thrashing and you did a wonderful job. However, and I think this is an important point that should be made, the comic -isn’t- serious. It’s a semi-decent attempt to make fun of the original novels. (Which were infinitely better, until they descended into the tenth layer of hell, also known as ‘the unending sex scene.’)

    Yes, the attempt at eye candy was pretty fail, and whoever decided which parts of the novel to put in the comic should be tortured with Simpsons reruns, but the person who eventually wrote the comic itself mocked the original editor and author quite nicely I think.

  22. OMg, that was the funniest thing I have to read concerning Anita Blake. I though that the comic was crap… but this reading of it… well … it’s just perfect!! LOL…. God, kill me if I ever gain muscle like that…. bleh

  23. Wow. I never really realised Anita had such large male followings. Her books had been huge favourites among chicks mainly because she keeps on banging all those hot guys. I can see though why the comics would be a huge hit with dudes: those animated chicks are hot!
    Be warned though, the later Anita Blake books heavily feature hot gay men; and the comics had been VERY faithful to the books so far. Girls of course would have no problem with gay men as they’re absolutely hot! Theres this one, Asher, he’s a bisexual, blonde and a tortured beauty. He starts out as a villain. He first places a bounty on her head then comes to kill her himself in a future book. He really hates her at first. You see, the man he loves is, in fact, in love with her! But Asher is bisexual and Anita is the only one who doesn’t pee in their pants when they see him. They fall in love with each other. Oooh, so romantic!
    I hope the male fans don’t mind. You guys read comics, you know what Japanese “Boys Love” manga comics are. Those are gay love stories by women, AIMED at women. Sort of like slash fiction (remember all those Wolverine/Cyclopse gay fanfiction?)

  24. I love Anita Blake… those books i can never put down, and the comics are great. I love that shes an hour glass figure and still can earn respect with the men with that bitch attiude.. People like me who work in a male dominated industry and have large breast and tiny waist work harder then everyone else to gain respect. Fiction or not her charecter is a role model to women

  25. how about you read the actual books before you bash one of our times best writers and as for erotica wait til book five the first sex is in chapter five of it the book title is the killing dance and anita is suposed to be short and sturdy and in a woman that means big legs but but tiny-ish waist aslo its a comic things get stretched .

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  27. Phillip’s appearance on the front cover is meant as a reference to his ultimate fate
    it’s common for comic artists as well as comic writers to give clues to attract the readers