Recap #192: Confessions of a Teenage Vampire: Zombie Saturday Night by West and Ellis by Jude Deluca
Title: Confessions of a Teenage Vampire – Zombie Saturday Night
Writer: Terry M. West
Penciller: Steven A. Ellis
Inkers: Richard Perrota and Ravil Lopez
Letterer: Fred Van Lente
Colorists: Kent Marquart, Ryan Dunlavey, Leon Allen, Michelle Wulfson
Cover Art: Steve Ellis and Stew Noack
Editor: Bonnie Bader
Summary: My life has really changed since I became a teenage vampire. I can’t stand bright lights and bad smells. I’m so strong I’ve got to be careful not to hurt anyone in gym class. And I’m on a strict diet of Serum V – a special protein product that was invented so vampires don’t have to kill to eat.
But my biggest worries are Sang and Rosie – two vampires who think that all vampires should prey on humans. I haven’t heard from them lately, but I know they’re out there somewhere. I need to be ready when they come…
This past summer I reviewed the first entry in this two book series, and I promised Wing I’d review the second for Halloween this year. Luckily for Wing, it’s got werewolves! Unluckily for the rest of us, while it sheds more light on the vampire mythology of this world, the ending is pretty rushed and there was no third entry.
Still, I hope you enjoy this piece of 90s comic cheese as an early Halloween treat instead of a trick.
History buff Lily Jordan’s world turned upside down when she discovered Phillip Lemachard, the town founder and man of her dreams, was still alive and a vampire to boot! As a side note, Phillip only considered Lily to be like a daughter to him (thank God).
When Phillip is gravelly wounded by his arch enemy Sang, he resorts to some drastic measures and partially turns Lily so she can fight back. Before he died, Phillip explained Lily’s only hope of regaining her humanity is to avoid ever drinking blood and to kill Sang once and for all. She must rely on Serum V, a synthetic protein Phillip invented for the vampire community and the cause for Sang’s hatred of him.
Upon discovering Phillip left Lily everything he owned in his will, Lily now has to get used to living in a historic mansion while also adjusting to being your average teenage vampire!
Gasp! Since we last saw Lily, has she finally succumbed to her vampiric urges?
Oh wait, no, she’s just showing off her Halloween costume to her friend Becky. Lily’s aunt Emma enters the room and offers a plate of cookies as an alternative to Becky’s throat. Becky believes Lily’s vampire costume is awesome and thinks it’ll be a hit at the big Halloween bash Lily’s throwing. Lily’s nervous since it’s the first party she’s ever hosted, but Emma assures the girls she has a lot of fun games planned for the kids.
As Lily walks Becky out the front door, Becky asks if her aunt’s really gonna be at the party. Lily admits her aunt’s more excited for the party than she is, but Becky feels Emma being there would really bring down the vibe. It IS going to be a senior party, after all. Lily points out her aunt’s been working hard on the decorations, but gives in and says she’ll figure something out.
Lily does her best to convince Donavin, Phillip’s former butler and the only person who knows Lily’s a vampire, to take Emma to the costume party held at the civic center on Halloween. Donavin argues it wouldn’t be proper to be dating his employer, and asks who would attend to Lily’s guests or manage the clean-up? Lily reasons she’s not asking him to marry her aunt, and assures him she’ll handle everything during the party. She pleads this is rully important to her since this is her first party evah.
Donavin gives in, much to Lily’s joy.
Meanwhile, Lily’s former bully and current vampire arch rival, Rosie Cartwright, is sulking in some cave somewhere waiting for Sang to return. She’s getting restless wondering what the fuck could Sang be taking weeks to finish when he finally shows up. Sang reveals he returned to his old haunt in Louisiana to pick up something to help in the War on Lily Jordan. The Bloodstone! A jewel supposedly crafted by Count Dracula himself! The ultimate vampire weapon! Sang loses himself in villainous cackling before Rosie can tell him what she’s heard about Lily’s party. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to get rid of her, so Sang’s really looking forward to partying down!
Rosie can’t believe she’s stuck with this moron.
At school, Lily’s pleased to report Emma accepted Donavin’s invite, and now Lily’s looking forward to the party. Not even the threatening note she found in her locker could do much to damper her mood.
Well maybe not.
Lily’s sure the note came from Rosie, which means Sang is nearby. Lily doesn’t want to cancel the party since most of her classmates are looking forward to it. At lunch her friends Derek, Becky, and Monica discuss what awesome costumes they’ll be wearing. Derek especially is putting together a rather sick zombie outfit and hopes to win the handmade costume contest at the party. But Lily has a hard time not worrying, and accidentally shows her vampire strength while playing volleyball in gym. Thankfully the teacher assumes the broken ball was leaking air. It’s in the locker room Lily almost blows her cover when Monica notices SHE DOESN’T HAVE A REFLECTION.
[Wing: DUN DUN DUUUUUUUH. I love this.]
Monica faints as Lily recalls Donavin warned her stress can affect her abilities, so by concentrating Lily is able to appear in the locker room mirror before anyone else notices. Luckily, Monica doesn’t recall what happened and chalks it up to getting overexerted.
After a stressful day at school, Lily returns to the mansion in time for another surprise. A surprise named Lance Talbot. Talbot claims he’s Phillip’s nephew, and had been travelling abroad in Europe when Donavin contacted him regarding Phillip’s death. Since Talbot’s parents died a couple of years ago, that meant Phillip was the last family he had. Lily asks where he went to school in Europe, but Talbot explains he was trying to find an old friend…
Lily’s not exactly enthused to learn Emma is letting Talbot stay at the mansion, since he’s definitely giving off some shady vibes. But she doesn’t wish to be rude and says of course Talbot can stay. While Emma goes to help Talbot pick out a room and discuss what Europe was like, Lily asks Donavin what the deal is. Donvain states it’d be better for Talbot to explain for himself. When Lily shows the note she found, it only reaffirms Donavin’s decision to send for Talbot to lend a hand.
During dinner, Lily doesn’t take her eyes off Talbot (and mentions she can still eat human food if it’s not too seasoned or spicy). She knows Talbot is hiding something, but she trusts Donavin’s judgment…
Unfortunately, Lily’s thoughts are so mixed up she forgot to take Phillip’s serum! She wakes up in the middle of the night, overcome by the urge to drink blood, and rushes down to Phillip’s lab before she murders everyone in the house. After downing a vial of Serum V, Lily comes to her senses and feels like shit for getting so careless. It’s then Talbot appears and asks if she’s okay now. Lily feels so disgusted with herself she doesn’t want Talbot to see her, when he confides he knows what it’s like to have a monster inside you.
Lily’s practically at a loss for words upon seeing Talbot transform into a werewolf. Bemoaning the loss of his brand new shirt, Talbot asks to get changed first before he sheds light on his life story.
[Wing: WEREWOLF WEREWOLF WEREWOLF WEREWOLF WEREWOLF. Also, if you’re going to bemoan the loss of a new shirt, TAKE IT OFF BEFORE YOU SHIFT YOU IDIOT.]
Walking outside the house, Lily recaps how Phillip died and what happened with Sang. Talbot warns her she got lucky during their first battle due to the adrenaline of transforming, and even with his help they might not be able to beat him. It’s then Talbot reveals how he was turned.
Years ago, Talbot liked to go camping in the Colorado mountains with his best friend Paul. Sadly, one night the two were attacked by a werewolf. Talbot got scratched up pretty badly, but Paul died. [Wing: Aww, an America Werewolf in the Colorado Mountains.] After transforming into a werewolf for the first time, Talbot lost his bearings and spent months living in the woods like an animal. It wasn’t until Phillip found him that he was able to get the care needed to change back. Following that, Talbot’s been trying to hunt down the werewolf who murdered Paul. All he has to go on is the guy’s name is “Louf,” which is French for “Wolf.” It’s not actually, “Loup” is. I’m assuming this is an editing mistake or a misprint.
Lily assures Talbot he’s not alone, when Talbot smells they’ve got company. It’s Scavenger! The local loony homeless guy who disappeared in the first book, and it looks like Sang turned him as well. Scavenger exclaims he tried his best to only feed on animals since “The bad man” changed him, but he can’t hold out any longer and wants human blood. Talbot turns back into his wolf form, but Scavenger overpowers him screaming he’s a monster like “The bad man.”
Lily grabs Scavenger and throws him off Talbot, and Scavenger becomes sad realizing Lily’s been turned too. She offers him compassion and tells him she can help if he comes with her. Sadly, Scavenger believes he’s beyond help and runs back into the woods. As Lily helps Talbot get on his feet, they briefly debate whether or not Scavenger truly can be helped or not.
The next day after school, Lily asks her friends if they’ll be helping with the decorations for the party. Becky and Monica start giving out excuses. You know, these tired old bits about “I have to get new bone marrow,” “They’re giving my dad the lethal injection tonight,” you know how kids get. Of course they immediately change their tune when they meet Talbot for the first time. Derek, on the other hand, seems a tiny bit jealous.
Out of earshot of her friends, Lily thanks Talbot for his help the previous evening. Talbot mentions he spent the day trying to find Scavenger, and Lily is legit worried for him because he was always nice to her. Lily admits she’s worried about what might happen at the party, but Talbot’s presence really is easing her concerns. Talbot thinks he’s the one who should thank Lily since SHE saved HIM the other night, and is excited for the party as well. It’s been too long since he got to engage in normal stuff like that.
On Saturday, Halloween, Lily and her crew got shit ready at the mansion, while in his cave Sang boasted about destroying her with the Bloodstone. In fact, he asks Rosie if the party is B.Y.O.B..
The decorating finished, Lily happily saw off Emma and Donvain (dressed like Lily Munster and the Green Hornet, respectively) before Talbot displayed HIS costume.
Lily is… not sure it’s appropriate, and Talbot surprisingly agrees with her. It’s MUCH too dark to be wearing sunglasses.
[Wing: This is the best costume ever, I am dying.]
Before arriving at Lily’s box social, Sang and Rosie make a pit stop by the local cemetery. Using the Bloodstone, Sang is rising up an entourage to crash the gala.
Meanwhile, the bash is in full swing and everyone is having the time of their lives. Lily even got local grunge rock band, the Shatners, to perform! Of course no one thinks Talbot is really a werewolf when the votes are tallied and the winner of the costume contest is announced. Lily believes the winner will be Derek because of how hard he worked on his zombie get up, but he’s only the runner-up. The real winner is Talbot!
Talbot and Derek take the stage to receive their plaques, but just as Talbot’s thanking everyone he has second thoughts. He feels bad for Derek since he really put a lot of work into his costume and, let’s be honest. The rules did say you were supposed to make your costume and Talbot technically ISN’T wearing one. So Talbot concedes the prize to Derek as the true winner and lies he bought his “Mask” at a store.
Lily’s about to thank Talbot for doing that when he informs her there are some weird scents coming from outside the house. In order to keep the rest of the party goers safe, Lily instructs Phillip’s pack of dobermans to guard the kids and make sure no one leaves the hall. As Lily and Talbot hurry to the front door, Talbot mentions he’s never encountered this kind of stench before. Lily believes they can handle it.
Sang is thrilled to see “Lemachard’s lapdog” as a bonus when Talbot howls it’s payback time for Phillip’s death. [Wing: Werewolf lapdog. Werewolf. Lap. Dog. I love the hell out of this.] The zombies are ordered to take down Lily and Talbot and swarm the two. Talbot’s werewolf senses are going into overdrive because of how much the zombies reek. Lily doesn’t want to hurt any of them since the aren’t acting of their own volition. [Wing: …they are also, you know, dead dead. Brought back by vile magic. DON’T WORRY ABOUT HURTING THEM.] Vampire and werewolf start flinging the zombies off as best they can, but there are too many and might possibly overwhelm them. Talbot decides to call for help and howls for the dobermans to arrive and even the odds.
Free from the zombies, Lily makes her way towards Sang when Rosie tackles her. Lily easily throws her former bully off while Sang enjoys watching teenage vamps duke it out. But since he’s distracted, Sang doesn’t notice Talbot sneaking up behind him. Talbot manages to snag the Bloodstone! He orders the zombies to run Sang and Rosie out of town before going back to their graves.
Talbot crushes the Bloodstone and explains the top priority was keeping the other kids safe, so they’ll have to delay getting rid of Sang for good for now. Those other kids, by the way, saw the whole thing! And thought it was amazing. Everyone starts asking Lily how she put all of that together and how much it must’ve cost to make it happen.
You never know what to expect when Lily Jordan throws a party!
[Wing: Awww, this is adorable.]
And that’s all they wrote.
Sadly, a third book never happened, nor am I sure if there were plans for a third book to begin with. I enjoyed the build up and the interaction with Lily and Talbot, but that ending felt entirely too rushed and anticlimactic.
I’m sure Wing enjoyed the presence of werewolves in this book, though.
[Wing: WHAT. THERE IS NO THIRD BOOK. THERE IS NO RESOLUTION. THERE ARE NO MORE ADORABLE WEREWOLVES. WHAT. I was in love with this, but now I am sad.]