Saturday, December 1, 2018

Vampire Girl

One of the few big conflicts I ever had with my mom as a kid had to do with a 6-foot tall Vampiress. 

When I was around 13 or 14 in the 70’s, I went through that big change I guess most adolescent boys go through. It manifested itself in small, weird ways. For one, I became obsessed with this comic magazine called Vampirella. For the uninitiated, Vampirella was an alien who came from a planet where blood ran in rivers like water.
Somehow she made her way to earth and was portrayed as a sort bloodsucker/superhero. I’d like to say that I bought it for the awesome art and magnificent storylines (which is what I probably told myself the time) but I’m pretty sure it had more to do with the skimpy costume.

In the back of the magazine there was an ad for a six foot poster of Vampirella holding a screeching vampire bat on her finger (I’ve recreated it here). It was so beautiful. Painted by the brilliant José Gonzalez, it was so lifelike, so perfectly rendered. I had to have it. I sent my money, received it, and proudly taped it to my wall.

When my mom walked into my room one day and saw it, she almost gasped. “Take that down this instant,” she quietly said to me. In a rare as act of defiance, refused. I said, “Why?” “She said, “You know why.”
I knew she wouldn’t say. Mom was a deeply religious woman and we simply didn’t discuss certain things in our house.
I had a Spider-man poster on the wall, a Bruce Lee and Star Trek. But she couldn’t bring herself say why this was any different. Finally:
“Just be sure to take that down when family comes over, Keith.”
“You know why. And if you say “why” one more time, you’re going to get smacked.”
I started to say some thing clever, but instead let out a soft sigh.

I held on to that poster for years.