Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Interview With The Vampire: Claudia's Story

by Anne Rice and Ashley Marie Witter


Claudia, the child vampire from Interview With The Vampire, is an abomination doomed never to grow to be a woman. This graphic novel tells the story of her tragic life, from the moment the vampire Lestat finds her and turns her into one of the undead.

Claudia's mother had died of the plague, and she would probably have died as well if she hadn't been transformed. However Lestat had an ulterior motive for creating her, hoping to use her to strengthen his relationship with Louis. So she plays the role of their daughter, even long after she's past the age of childish things. She is a monster in the body of a sweet, harmless-looking child, and she relished the act of killing. Louis is much more squeamish about taking life than she is, and it irks her that he won't hunt with her.

As the years pass Claudia becomes more frustrated with her childish form, even though she has every luxury the times can afford her. She wants to know more about her own kind, and she thinks Lestat is stifling both her and Louis as well as keeping secrets from them. So she resolves to do away with her maker. But Lestat is resilient, and he proves difficult to kill in more ways than one. Louis is horrified by her plan, but she is desperate to secure his affection and she thinks Lestat is standing in the way of their happiness.

Claudia is even more melancholic than Louis in some ways. Although she's darker by nature and less inclined to fret about how evil she is, she has plenty of her own hang-ups to compensate. The artwork matches the tone of the story perfectly, with plenty of doom-laden gothic imagery. It is all in tones of sepia, with occassional splashes of red and quite a few panels that feature bleeding tears.

This adaptation is very faithful to the original novel, and it doesn't add much that readers of that book won't already know. For people who have read the first novel it misses out on an opportunity to add new storylines or depth to her character. What we get is a very Louis-like version of Claudia, focussed on his preoccupations with immortality and morality. It's all a bit heavy, and as it is with Louis himself, the addition of some humour would greatly improve matters.

However at the same time Claudia's Story makes the Vampire Chronicles accessible to a new audience in a very attractive style. It's an easy read that goes straight to the heart of the subject matter with no detours or fluff. Ashley Marie Witter's drawings are strongly influenced by manga, especially when it comes to Claudia's big, babyish eyes. But it's a detailed, realistic take on the style. The setting allows for lots of beautiful people, places and costumes, and as a result this is an incredibly pretty graphic novel.

The thing that has always made me uncomfortable about Claudia's character is the way she sees herself as Louis' lover, even though she looks like a child. But vampires in Anne Rice's world don't have physical relationships, instead using killing as a proxy for intimacy. And in essence Claudia is the opposite of who she appears to be, a badly made thing like the broken doll she cuts herself on when she's arguing with Louis later in the story.

26th November 2012

Book Details

Year: 2012

Categories: Books

    Female Protagonist  

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