True Blood Comic Collection Debuts on New York Times Bestsellers List

March 11, 2011 by  

‘All Together Now’ Captures Number 6 Spot

All Together Now CoverDie hard fans of HBO‘s True Blood helped our favorite show score another triumph by landing ‘All Together Now’ on the New York Times Best Sellers List in its first week!  The hardcover collection of the first True Blood comic series arc contains all six issues of the comic and bonus content including a cover gallery.

The first storyline was developed by show creator Alan Ball along with series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow and provides a different look at life in Bon Temps.

Blood and sex mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte’s, when Sookie and her friends are trapped by a vengeful spirit who feeds on shame. People die and dirty secrets are revealed as Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara, Jason, and Lafayette and are all coerced to dig deep and tell painful memories from their past – those things we all have locked within us that we never tell another living soul! Bon Temps, Louisiana has never been stranger, or more twisted.

True Blood: Tainted Love

Tainted Love 1 CoverThe True Blood comic book saga will continue with True Blood: Tainted Love, the first issue of which is already in stores.  The second arc will be six issues like the first and begins with baby vampire Jessica being exposed to a tainted bottle of Tru Blood causing her to go berserk.

What is different about the Tainted Love series is that it is being co-written by Marc Andreyko and Michael McMillian who plays Reverend Steve Newlin on the hit show.  The authors sat down with to talk about the series and their vision for it.

While the two have never worked together before they have been friends for a long time and even live in the same building.  When the True Blood comic was announced Andreyko approached McMillian about pitching possible stories to IDW, the company that is publishing the comics and McMillian agreed.  Clearly HBO liked what the two had to offer and they were lucky enough to get the job.

Plan of Attack

The duo revealed the secrets behind their collaboration, saying that they sat down and plotted the six issue series together and then divided up the first drafts with McMillian taking odd numbered issues and Andreyko tackling the even numbered issues.  Once they completed a first draft they passed it off to the other who would review it and pass it back.  They then handed it into IDW and HBO for their review.

In talking about what it was like to write for the comic book series after having starred in the show McMillian had this to say:

“It’s a bit like writing about a fictional world that I’ve actually visited before. As Steve Newlin, I got to walk around the ‘True Blood’ universe as one of its denizens.  I know how it feels, how it sounds. At the very least, it makes writing dialogue for Bill and Sookie and Jason much easier having actually interacted with those characters in the flesh.  I think it’s one of the reasons I wanted to write this comic so badly — it’s a fictional world I have tangible access to. That’s an awesome gift for a writer.”

The Story Behind The Story

Tainted Love 2 CoverDuring the interview Andreyko revealed that the inspiration behind the storyline was the Tylenol poisonings that took place in and around Chicago in 1982.  He says:

“Michael and I were coming up with stories to pitch, and the concept of someone poisoning Tru Blood was something that really intrigued us.  I mean, who would do that? Angry vampires? Vampire haters? Was it personal? Like any good mystery, there are dozens of feasible suspects.”

The two also tapped into the way that Season 3 of True Blood ended off with the tense human/vampire relations with McMillian saying:

“I think the comic can play a role in exploring areas of the ‘True Blood’ world that the show may not be able to get to.  Marc came up with the wonderful idea of Tru Blood bottles getting contaminated with an element that causes vampires to go crazy. Since the bottled blood is the link between vampire/human relations, it’s such a great device to mess with. Tainting that symbolic connection seemed like an apt reflection of where vampire/human relations were left off in Season 3.”

The Plot

So what exactly happens to our favorite vampires when they drink this tainted blood?  Well according to McMillian it causes them to go into a bloodlust state where their moral center has completely vanished and they just go crazy.

The Tainted Love series focuses primarily on Jessica, our favorite baby vampire.  When asked what it is that makes Jessica appealing as a main character Andreyko responded:

“She’s a teenager, she was home-schooled, and now she’s a vampire whose every time having sex is, literally, the ‘first’ time. That pretty much screams ‘interesting’ to me.”

Sex and Comic Books

We all know that sex is a huge part of the True Blood appeal and to a large extent it is also a big part of the Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charlaine Harris.  But how do you address that element of the show in a comic book format where there are graphic pictures to accompany the words?  According to the two they just went with the flow of the storyline.  They used the show as a guiding post and they made sure the sex and coarse language were appropriate to the storyline and not just dropped in for shock value.  Andreyko says:

“Sex is a huge part of True Blood, both from a narrative standpoint and metaphorically, so eliminating it from the comics would be a conspicuous absence. That being said, we are not doing ‘adult’ comics here, so the choreography and what isn’t shown become important in the storytelling. And I’m also a firm believer that, except for specific moments of impact, less is much more when it comes to moments of graphic sex or violence.”

To order your copy of the first issue of Tainted Love click here.  The second issue will be released on March 31, 2011 but you can pre-order your copy by clicking here.

All Together Now with tshirtBe sure to pick up your copy of ‘All Together Now’ today.  You can order them directly from HBO along with a t-shirt by clicking
.  If you just want to order the book itself click

So fellow Truebies do you plan to check out the True Blood comic series?  If you already own it let us know what you think in the comment section!

Sources: – Hardcover ‘True Blood’ Comic Debuts On Best Seller List – McMillian & Andreyko Spill ‘True Blood’

Photo Credits – HBO Inc. and IDW Publishing