The Dark Door: Vamp Stamps

May 8, 2010

Greetings all dark hearted and dark curious lovelies. Though the current popularity of the vamp milieu and True Blood is no secret I still find myself amused at some the forms in which it appears. These bracelets were a somewhat isolated item in a rather kitschy ‘attraction’ store:

“I [heart] Vampires”      “Vamp it Up”

Initially I laughed but then it occurred to me: what a useful device. How much easier would it be for vampires to find a willing donor. None of the wasted time or pesky legalities of attacking the unwilling and being chastised by the AVL.

“Ah, but what of the hunt?”, you say. The hunt always exists as an option but some days efficiency is best – like the difference between having time for a gourmet five course meal vs. a microwave dinner.  And we all know how the artificial Tru Blood is to real blood like soy milk is to moo juice – not even of the same scientific kingdom.

“I want to be IMMORTAL”

Is having a possible infinite number of days and freedom from human illness and frailty enough to make such a long existence satisfying?  Hmmm.

After being on this earth for so long – like Eric Northman‘s 1,000+ years –  wouldn’t all human pettiness and tendency to repeat the same mistakes be enough to make the undead want to move to Mars (with some form of replenishing blood source of course)?

“Just let me try it,” I hear – much like those who wish to test the money-is-the-root-of-all-evil theory by being smothered in it first and reporting back later. Can’t blame you.

In the end, my final bracelet choice I found particularly amusing and appropriate:
“Give Blood. Date a Vampire

With the impending  arrival of characters like Alcide on the True Blood scene I believe we shall soon see a rise in Werewolf paraphernalia. May I suggest: “Howl at the Moon”, “DON’T Bite Me” and “I Want to Be Hairy”.

photo credit: Earienne


Bon Temps Tattler: Bill Compton Sinks His Fangs Into The MADV Debate

April 8, 2010

Dear Editor,
After careful consideration, I have decided to express my views on the recent articles printed in this paper, speaking out for and against those of my kind. My name is Bill Compton and I am Vampire.
I am a resident here in Bon Temps, having lived here before I was turned at the end of the Civil War. My human family has lived here for generations and I have returned to reclaim our homestead as a rightful heir. I have become acquainted with many in this town, having seen my share of positive and negative receptions to my existence. My goal here is to set the record straight.
Though it has only been a few years since the “Great Revelation”, where those of my kind were able to “Come out of the coffin” and live openly amongst Humans, there are still many prejudices that surround us. First and foremost, I would like for your readers to understand is that all vampires, no matter how old they are, started off as human. Yes, there are many differences between our species, but there are also similarities. We all seek comfort, stability, security, and companionship in our quest for existence, though our appetites and drives to achieve such things are very different. While humans have free will to make decisions for themselves on how they accomplish the successes of their lives, vampires are driven by impulse and instinct. We are not allowed, by our nature, to defy our Elders nor our Makers and must obey their laws and direct orders or pay dire consequences. There is a involuntary reaction within us to follow the decisions made by those ranked higher than us. This concept is difficult to describe, but lets just say that if a human parent tells their child that they are not allowed to have a cookie, that child makes a decision whether or not to listen to their parent’s law.
As vampire, we are physically stopped within ourselves from doing such deviance’s as we are held to that law or order as a bond. Why am I sharing this important information with you? It is because I want your readers to understand the basic concepts of how the nature of a vampire works.

With that said, there are some things that we have control over as far as how we exist. Before the “Great Revelation”, it was decided by a majority of my kind to reveal ourselves and our existence in order to live freely amongst Humans all thanks to the invention of synthetic blood by the Japanese. While there are a few brands out there for us to choose from, True Blood seems to be a favorite amongst my kind. Though it doesn’t provide us with all of the satisfaction of drinking fresh blood, it does contain all the essentials we need to survive. It’s kind of like living strictly on Slim-Fast shakes—it subdues our hunger until the next time we drink, though there are many temptations out there. It does take a lot of determination to go against our nature in this way, but it is one that many choose as a sacrifice to exist openly and freely. Those of us who have chosen to live this bottled lifestyle are called main-streamers. Yes, there are still some of my kind that choose to live by traditional methods, but I can assure your readers that you will not find these vampires living right next door.

Through human “free will”, many have decided to open themselves up to my kind for the pleasure of being fed from. This consensual agreement between vampire and human adults should not be privy to laws, just as consensual sexual relations between adults should not be judged. To my kind, they are one in the same. With the discovery of willing humans, we are free to form personal and emotional relationships with those of your kind, that has developed far beyond the exchange of blood. As I have said before, we all seek comfort, stability, security, and companionship’s—for some of us, it is difficult and almost impossible to find within our own species. I, for one, am honored and proud to date a human woman and there is no court in this land that will make me change my mind on that. She has been my salvation in my world of eternal darkness and I am very grateful to her— more than she will ever know. I have grown to love and respect her for who she is and she returns the same to me.

To address the public debate being held between my ward, Jessica Hamby; her beau, Hoyt Fortenberry; and his mother, Maxine Fortenberry, I would like to express my views as I am responsible for Miss Hamby. Though I did not agree with Jessica’s approach in this matter, she does make several valid points. I agree with her theory that the creation of this anti-vampire group (MADV) by Mrs. Fortenberry is out of denial that her son is now a grown man who can make decisions for himself. Might I remind your readers that organizations such as this breed hate and misinformation, not to mention discrimination, which is unconstitutional.

I can not say that I am not in support of Jessica dating a human since I do so myself, but I do wish that she would have waited until she matured a bit. Being a new vampire is tough enough to experience without adding the pressures and emotions of dating for the first time as well. I wish to assure Mrs. Fortenberry that I am trying my best to raise Jessica in the ways of the main-streaming vampire. She was not exposed to existence before the “Great Revelation” where hunting and feeding was our only option of survival, so this modern way is all she will have to go by.

I must admit that I am not experienced in raising a teenager, having last seen my own children when they were still so young. Also, it has been well over a century since I have been that age, so it is difficult for me to relate to what Jessica is going through, but with the help from my intended, Miss Sookie Stackhouse, I hope to explore that education. It is unfortunate for Jessica that at the time of her turning, she was still a virgin, so she will forever remain that way physically, just as she will remain forever young. From what I read of Hoyt’s submission, Mrs. Fortenberry should be proud of her son and the fact that she raised him with the right knowledge of how to treat a lady—-a value that has gone by the wayside in this day and age, but I can only hope that he shows patience and restraint for Jessica’s situation. It is not her choice for what she became and therefore cannot bear the blame for it. That fault lies with me as I was ordered to turn her for my actions in defending the life of a human. I do not regret what I did to receive this sentence, but I will do my best to do right by Jessica and to teach her properly.

Perhaps, if she is willing to discuss things amicably, I would invite Mrs. Fortenberry to sit down with me to discuss the relationship between her son and my ward, just as any parents would normally do. There is nothing to fear in having an open discussion and might I remind Mrs. Fortenberry who took care of her during her “illness” a few weeks ago. I believe she will recall what I am referring to and by the way, Mrs. Fortenberry, I have yet to beat your high score on Dead Space: Extraction for the Nintendo Wii. Perhaps you can share with me your successful gaming secrets once we have reached an agreement on this other personal matter. I look forward to your reply.

Cordially Yours,

William T. Compton


Bon Temps Tattler: Hoyt’s Hot Tips!

February 22, 2010

Hoyt’s Hints for Dating newly turned Vampire;

Hello there; my name is Hoyt Fortenberry, recently my mother; Maxine decided to take my personal love life public. She is trying to start a group called Mothers against Dating Vampires, MADV. Really momma you couldn’t have come up with a more original acronym.  If one didn’t know better they would think you’re a mother against doing Viagra. But let’s move on readers.

As I titled this article Hints for Vampire Dating, I will try to give you the reader some helpful tips on beginning and maintaining a relationship with a female vampire. Of course being a male I can only speak on that end of it. But some of these hints may be gender useful.  You may ask yourself how I am such an expert. I’m not. I am a simple man from a small town In Louisiana, who has been dating a newly turned female vampire named Jessica Hamby, a ward now of a Mr. Bill Compton a local vampire here. I met Jessica on a warm summer evening in a small bar. She walked in wearing a bright summer dress. At first glance she looked like any other girl in the bar, maybe a little paler. Jessica scanned the room; she had a nervous almost scared look in her eyes. Seeing an open booth Jessica went right to it and took a seat. I only saw a lovely young woman who was new to the area. I was raised by my momma, Maxine, to always be polite, especially to new people and  women. I walked over and introduced myself, asking if I could have a seat. She agreed and then told me her name. Next she landed the bombshell. She said she was Vampire.  I don’t know still today if I was smitten by her beauty or the fact she was a vampire. I only knew that at that moment I was falling in love with her.

I have never really had a steady girlfriend and I could tell that Jessica had never really had a boyfriend so we stumbled through our initial meeting like teenagers. We’ve been together for a few weeks now and I have learned some things I would like to share with you.

1)       Manners; these are just as important with a Vampire as with a human (maybe more so because if you offend a young female Vampire she may do more than just slap your face.) Treat her with respect.  Some of these newly turned girls may have come from a hard life, be it from the streets of the city or from an abusive home life in their past. Being polite to them will a strong focal point on which to begin.  Open doors for them, say please and thank you. Smile a lot. Let them know how good they look. Just the simple things can take you a long way in the beginning.

2)      Take your date to Vampire friendly restaurants. They will not be interested in Lobster or Steak. They need blood to survive. So look for the True Blood signs on the front of eating establishments and Bars. This will show your date that you are considerate of her needs.

3)      Be careful when you decide to take her home to meet your parents. They may not be as open to Vampires as they appear. In my own case I relate it to Momma’s views. She treated Vampires much the same way as she treated Black people; she was friendly to them in public and made herself sound totally accepting of them. They were fine and she had no problem with either of them, so long as they were not dating her son or moving in next door.

4)      Finally for now, Meeting her maker. This is of upmost importance. For her maker is like her dad, and how daddy’s feel about their little girls is pretty much universal. If you mess with her they will hurt you. I have been fortunate as Mr. Compton is trying very hard to mainstream and teach Jessica to main stream also. Some others may not be so understanding. It will be up to you to use your best judgment. Remember a Vampire bite is just as lethal as daddy’s old shotgun.

I hope these tidbits have been helpful comeback next time when we will discuss Time management; or should I work a swing shift to allow more time for dating.

(Header Graphic:  Kasandra Rose)


Bon Temps Tattler: The Truth About Maxine Fortenberry

February 1, 2010

Dear Editor,

I feel I am placed in a position of defending myself for the attacks of your redneck gossip rag and the one-sided backwoods views of Maxine Fortenberry. I was instructed by my maker, Bill Compton, to try to smooth things over, he doesn’t like vampire’s public image to be sullied. So I’m writing to clear a few things up. I am Jessica Hamby, I do date Hoyt Fortenberry and I am vampire. I will address the article and attempt to remain a lady but I do not give my word on this.

First, My Lord Mrs. Fortenberry, if the truth shall set you free, you must be securely hogtied. You raised Hoyt as a single mother and tried your best to make him a momma’s boy, well that is until I came along. You see folks, it isn’t really that I am vampire that truly upsets Mrs. Fortenberry, it is the fact that that her son might one day leave her. As far as me being an orphan vampire, she is mistaken there too. I was the oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Hamby and now I am Bill Compton’s child, well… sort of.

I have read through her vile lies several times and I do not see where my being a vampire is truly her concern. I believe she referred to me as a ‘Jezebel’ that can work ‘sex spells’. Well let me tell all of you something, I was a virgin when I met Hoyt, so y’all tell me, who used a sex spell on who. Now for those of you that don’t know, that means I’ll be a virgin forever. Which means I have my cherry popped every time and let me tell you that is not something I enjoy so much that I would lead an innocent man to his ruin.

Heavens! I didn’t even learn how to glamour till I got to Dallas but it is a very nice ability to have.  After all, if that crazy woman attacked me I could just glamoure her. It would be tempting to then make her my pet. Oh, I bet she peed a little after reading that. Don’t worry Mrs. Fortenberry, Bill won’t let me do anything to humans. Besides, Hoyt might get a little mad at me.  What I find very funny is that all she thinks about is the sex. I bet if she had a man this wouldn’t even be an issue. She is just a dried up old hag that has nothing to live for except controlling her son. And now Hoyt ain’t having none of it no more.

Bill has told me to try to remain as pleasant as I can to her, but this MADV group she is forming is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to get her baby boy back and I ain’t allowing it! Whether you like it or not Mrs Fortenberry, I love Hoyt and he loves me. This group will not change that.

In closing I would like to remind Mrs Fortenberry that if something was to happen to Hoyt, like a car crash or a heart attack from her grilled potato chip and cheese, ‘heart-attack-on-a-plate’ sammiches, please consider who would be able to help him heal, even critical wounds, I can even help with years of deep fried guilt. There may be a time when she is very thankful for who and what I am. The only thing I’ll ever be thankful to her for is Hoyt, for which I’m very grateful, but that doesn’t mean she can bad mouth me in the pages of this paper!

Sanguinely Yours,

Jessica Hamby, Vampire

(Header Graphic:  Kasandra Rose)


Talkin’ TrueBlood with Rusty: Hotel Design Questions Answered

August 30, 2009

on-bed-togetherRecently Amy asked us:

I’m on a quest to find the fabulous hotel bedding in episodes 8 & 9. Do you have any idea where I can find it?

So we asked Rusty Lipscomb who was the designer for season 1 of True Blood.  She was kind enough to look into it and replies:

The duvet covers were custom made-silk in medium charcoal gray for Jessica’s room and deep eggplant color for Sookie and Bill’s room. Coverlets and shams in grey silk were from Restoration Hardware.  The sheets are from Bed, Bath and Beyond and are ivory 600 count cotton. The scene with Lorena had the same sheets in dark charcoal.

For the dream sequence with Sookie and Eric in bed, the ivory satin sheets were purchased online.

Wow NICE!  Silk and 600 count cotton sheets for a few episodes of a TV show!  I guess they wanted to put the actors in the mood! (As will be confirmed by Deborah in an upcoming exclusive interview with so stay tuned!)


Candice asked almost on cue! :

I love the art and decor in the bedrooms of the vampire hotel they stay in while searching for Godric. Can you give me details on the artist or set decorator please?

To which Rusty replies:

My friend, Laura Richarz, is the season 2 set decorator!

Nominated four times for an Emmy, three times for her work on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (along with Herman F. Zimmerman: production designer and Randall McIlvain: art director) and once for her work on “New Love, American Style” (along with Dahl Delu: art director and Lisette Thomas: set decorator) Laura has been in the business almost 30 years starting back in 1981 on “Three’s Company”, her work includes such great shows as “Cheers” and “Six Feet Under”.

Thanks Rusty!

Rusty Lipscomb set decorator season 1 and Laura Richarz season 2 set decorator of True Blood
Rusty Lipscomb set decorator season 1 and Laura Richarz season 2 set decorator of True Blood

(Photo Credit: HBO)

Screen Caps: Steven Easterly and James Chin


True Blood Season 2: Episode 10 – “ New World in my View”

August 29, 2009

Sookie and Jason return to Bon Temps with Bill in a travel coffin. On arrival they find Bon Temps trashed and upside down. On further exploration they find everyone possessed by (unknown to them) Maryann. At Bills house Hoytt tried to contain Maxine’s possessed actions as Jessica tries to (unsuccessfully) contain her Vampiric rage.On returning home, Sookie finds her house inhabited by Maryann who has taken it upon herself to do a little redecorating. In an attempt to evict Maryann, Bill finds that his usual defense is powerless, but Sookie discovers that she holds an unexpected reaction to Maryann’s violence.

Maryanne: Megatroll from Hades

Maryanne: Megatroll from Hades

Arlene lures Sam out of hiding and to Merlottes where Sam discovers a trap filled will Zombionic townsfolk all hungry for his blood. Andy and Sam take extended refuge in the freezer until they are saved (for a moment) by Jason Stackhouse. Just before Sam is taken to Maryann’s and lost for good, Jason and Andy concoct a plan that although unorthodox, is brilliant beyond words.
Tara while being held safe at Lafayette’s house is visited by Sookie and Bill. After an extended session, Tara is finally freed of Maryanne’s grip. Bill, knowing that he can’t face Maryann alone leaves to find answers from the only person who he knows could stop her, but is he too late

Top 5 of New World in my View

1. Jason Stackhouse’s dramatic scheme to free Sam Merlotte from the Townsfolk. So unconvincing – unless you were zombified by Maryann.

2. Jessica’s struggle to remain composed during Maxine’s outbursts. I think we have all been there!

3. Maryann’s redecorating. Although non traditional, it works in a supernatural Martha Stuart kinda way.

4. Welcome Back Tara!

5. The feeling that these characters have all walked into a B grade Zombie Horror film. It will be interesting to see how the town gets cleared up after.

[Editor’s Prerogative: for my top spots and one demerit below]

  1. Everything Jason.  Can you believe the double entandre of having Jason fake being ‘The God Who Comes’?  And Ryan played it perfectly.  Was I the only one that saw his ears perk up and rotate forward when a new waitress at Merlotte‘s was mentioned?  I think that because she died before he got to score her she might have been the one that got away….
  2. Bill is Back!  Where have you BEEN handsome?  Bill bonding with Jason (finally the father Jason always needed, who trusts him and treats him like a man).  Bill putting himself between Sookie and danger. Bill standing up to Eric. Bill trusting everyone.. Sookie (you fool!), Jason (good call!), Jessica (Oh Boy!)…  Bill and Sookie working together to bring back Tara was just awesome! This is going to be a great thing in the long run.. something they can do together.
  3. Lafayette, as always, best lines of the night.  “If there was ever a time to trust a white man, this is the time.”  You don’t get much whiter than dead… “Just because Jesus and I decided to see other people doesn’t mean we don’t talk from time to time.” LOL!  Is there a name for that finger octopus he did in that chick’s face to back her out?
  4. Dale Raoul played a bang up Maxine Fortenberry.  Yeah I still think Maxine is pathetic but that woman can play one wild, demonic game of Wii!

Even though I loved the episode there are only four favorite scenes tonight because it was just too damn SHORT!  Seriously, I doubt they ran out of material so what’s the deal?  And then we’re bombarded with advertisements? Isn’t the reason that we pay for HBO because we don’t get a lot of ads?  I understand that times are tough and that True Blood is attracting huge viewer numbers and it’s tempting to try to put it next to your WHOLE line up but 42 minutes?  Really? One demerit, see the nun in the corner for your time out.

Please put your top choices in the comment section WAY down at the bottom of the page!
(Photo credit: HBO)


Talkin’ True Blood with Rusty Lipscomb: Time Bomb

August 20, 2009

True Blood Time Bomb Stephen Moyer as Vampire Bill Compton and Anna Paquin as Sookie StackhouseWhat’s up with Luke?  Suicide bomber?  I must admit I did not see that coming!  I thought he was too self involved…. but he turned out to be a true believer, unfortunately being manipulated by the egocentric, charismatic, vampire hating, Rev. Steve. What a shame to destroy Godric’s beautiful home!  An explosion like this necessitates the set to be built on stage and what a great look the art department and construction achieved.  As for the set decoration, every piece of furniture, accessory, art, lighting, and rugs, needed to be purchased!  I really hurts! to know that an interior so well put together will end up a mess of char, soot, and debris.

Each piece of furniture, purchased new for Godric’s home, each contemporary painting custom made, all the cool accessories selected, were destroyed or ended up in a debris pile.  Did you notice the dining room chandelier, the great sparking, twisting, glass, sea urchin design that glowed and sparkled was dripping vampire remains? Yuk! ….and what a shame to see it go!

To make it even more painful, the set dressing department and the construction crew usually work along side the special effects crew to achieve the after-the-bomb mess.  Ouch! debris on the couches, gunk on the rugs, but it is actually more cost effective to destroy what is purchased than to manufacture it for that purpose in this case.  Godric’s living room was in multiple episodes and that is the reason why.

One question remains in my mind….how did Isabel manage to stay completely perfect after the explosion????? Where was she? [Editor’s Note: I think, like my mother, she had so much hair spray on that ‘do that it was impervious and perhaps protective!] And evil Eric getting his way with Sookie sucking his blood….but for us it was a good thing.  If she had not, we would not have seem him naked in bed with her and I know that we have been waiting much too long for that!….the Eric part!

Maryann is still vibrating, Lorena is on a mission, Hoyt and Jessica are still cute, Maxine is a bad mom, Lettie Mae is a good mom, Sookie and Jason renewed their familial bond, Eric is sad, we said good-bye to Godric and I remain a fan!”

We loved her insider view so much that we had to ask her a few follow up questions! Do you usually know if a place is to be destroyed when you create the setting?

Rusty: Yes. That is a very important factor in both the building of the set and the decorating even more so.  We do a lot of rentals for TV, it helps with the usually tight budgets.  You really can’t destroy rentals and it would be near impossible to match the rentals when it is time to destroy the set. If you know, do you tend to buy cheaper?

Rusty: Of course you would do that… if it was possible.  The camera does not see subtle differences between the $$$$$ fabric and the $$ affordable one.  It is all about style, about putting things together, about good design and color.  I had the pleasure to spend many years working series TV, whether multi camera sitcoms or single camera series.  There is never enough money to be able to buy everything that is your first choice.  Set decorators, as was my craft, have to learn where to shop for things that look really good because of their style potential.  We make a career of shopping on a budget, learning where cool accessories can be found…..the pillows, drapery, lighting, plants, make a hugh difference. It is important to put your money where it will show. Things that are a bit shabbier?

Rusty: It is possible to buy mark-downs because of a scratch or ding but you need time to do this.  Suzuki Ingerslev, production designer and my long time collaborator, designed a brilliant set for SHARK, a series we did together in 2006.  She asked for an upscale stainless refrigerator to be built into the kitchen.  All I could see were $$$$$! She sent me to an appliance store in Northridge that sold new appliances that had dings or dents. I found one that was damaged, but not on the front which is all that we saw and was 1/2 price. Film is the perfect venue for things that are not perfect.  We can repair or cover almost anything. Less likely to buy something you absolutely love?

Rusty: I think that this is where you decide to spend your money.  Something that you love and will make a difference is worth the bucks. If you’ve had to destroy a long time set have you ever ‘rescued’ something fundamental to the show or sentimental to an actor or crew member?

Rusty: I would hope so and it is possible that it was done in Godric‘s.  You could either replace the object or make sure that the placement of the object is such that debris could be so heavy it would not be missed.  It is a shame to destroy some special no matter who is attached to it! Has it ever worked the other way around where you decided it was time to redo a set and the writers decided why not blow it up?

Rusty: It has not happened to me, but I know other decorators who have had to redo a main set.  It is not just explosions, it is cheaper to just put a line in the script about redecorating.

Thanks for the great insights Rusty into the behind the scenes workings of True Blood and other TV shows.  No wonder we can so strongly feel the loss of Godric‘s home.. the set dressers and construction crew imbue the scene with their own feelings as they destroy their own creations.  Designing a set to be blown to smithereens would be like building large, complicated sand castles only to watch them be washed away by the tide.

(Photo credit: HBO)