Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows #1 Review

Writer: Mike Mignola
Art: Rachele Aragno, Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 14th, 2022

Leonide, the morbid young girl who’s also a soul-stealing vampire, returns in Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows #1.  And much like the last book in the series, Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at Crow’s Head #1, this book drips with creepy atmosphere.  Forget ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, if you really want a deeply disturbing and creepy story that will appeal to both youngsters and adults, look no further than this book.

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The Story

What I love most about Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows #1 is that main character Leonide isn’t cute and witty like Wednesday Adams.  She’s pure malevolence, an old soul in a child’s form, who causes havoc everywhere she goes and seems indifferent to everything in the world.

The story’s played straight and deadly serious, and much like the last book in the series, we have another crowd of villagers who discover Leonide’s coffin and bring her back home with them, unaware of the danger they’re carrying into their town.
And the skeletal Priest Vittorio Sandroni is back too, continuing his assault on her, trying to rid the world of her evil.  It’s almost comical when he pops up at the beginning of the book, loudly exclaiming biblical verses at her in latin.  It was reminiscent of the old “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Monty Python sketches, where Michael Palin and two partners (all decked out in Dark Ages garb) pop into the middle of another sketch from out of nowhere, impotently threatening torture and violence.

The Priest and Leonide have a confrontation here and unlike the last book, there’s a resolution of sorts between the two enemies that happens on Christmas night.  Their scenes together in Leonide’s dark tower are go from amusing to horrifying to touching and back, and the villagers that Leonide turned into crows in the last book make an appearance, as well as several ghosts lurking in the chilly corridors of the tower.

The Art

Rachel Aragno and Mike Mignola’s art on Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows #1 perfectly captures the haunting atmosphere of the book.   From the cracks in the tower walls to the ominous shadows in the tower corridors and the Priest’s skeletal head, every panel reinforces the gothic feel of the book. Leonide herself has a simple design but effective, with a simultaneous innocent and demonic look.

Final Thoughts

Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows #1 is a wonderfully grim and haunting tale, giving us the continuing story of Leonide and her ongoing battle with the Priest.  It’s the perfect Winter’s tale for anyone who loves gothic horror.


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