web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Alphabet of Vampires – H

Again, coinciding with First Second Books’ Vampire Month, here’s the next in our alphabet of comic book vampires!

Here’s another off-beat vampire (although not as off-beat as Greenberg)


Adam Heller

Adam Heller was the star of the 2003 Vertigo mini-series, Blood and Water, by Judd Winick and Tomm Coker. It may have been the last creator-owned work Winick did in comics – I can’t recall for sure.

The basis of the series is that Adam has Hepatitis A, and to make matters worse, he finds out that he has a hepatoma on his liver that will kill him shortly.

It’s at this point that Adam’s best friend of the past five years, Josh, and Josh’s girlfriend, Nicky, reveal that they are vampires and that they want to turn Adam into a vampire too, so he can continue to live (as a vampire, but still).

Adam agrees, and for awhile, there is a lot of good humor to be found in Adam reacting to his new form and powers (this is a guy who has not had sex in years and he now suddenly can).

However, as it turns out, Adam was NOT a normal human, but was actually a sort of special vampire, and as a result of his being “awakened,” a long dormant evil vampire is back and he is ready to kill lot of people to get Adam.

It was a good series, with strong characterization work by Winick, and nice, moody artwork by Tomm Coker.

I dunno if it was collected into a trade paperback. It’s worth giving it a look see if you come across the single issues!


Hepatitis A is a minor infection – you get sick, and then you get over it. It’s Hep B that’s the big deal (and C & D, to a lesser extent).

And here I was so sure it was going to be Harold H. Harold.

Happy beat me to it, though forgot to ask whether it was you or Winnick who made the mistake.


May 26, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Remember buying this when it first came out… looked back at it only a week or so ago. One of the best vampire comics probably ever made… tried not to get too caught up in the mythology.

AND this was one of the books that convinced my girlfriend that comics could be a good read…. then Y:the last man came out and the rest is history :D

Good miniseries, though Winick did keep adding stuff to advance the plot to make the plot easier to move. According to Wikipedia, Adam got Hep A from food poisoning, though I’m sure he already had a lesser case of that because — according to him — his mother used infected needles while pregnant with him, and the bad Chinese gave him the really bad Hep. I’ll have to check on the issues I have.

Coker did not make Adam look good in the first chapter…we’re talking distended belly from the disease and side effects from the medication. Aside from plot devices falling from the sky, Winick did good disassociating from traditional vampire mythos…as opposed to Abel & Soria, who altered the rules just a little and made it a dark comedy.

I met Coker at Wizard World Philly in ’03, and I got this sketch of Adam.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 26, 2008 at 3:01 pm

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of the alphabet is to kindle a light of meaning
in the darkness of mere letters.

C.G. Jung
Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

Why Judd WInick can get serious, high-profile gigs and Tomm Coker can’t is one of the great injustices in the comic book world.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives