BY MATT TUCK
It’s the 1990s all over again, and it may be a good time to dig in your longboxes for some obscure Anne Rice comic adaptations.
Last May, it was reported that Rice had struck a deal with AMC for the movie and television rights to several of her intellectual properties. This week, the network announced that Interview with the Vampire would be the first of those IPs to get a series reboot. That should give you incentive to start searching for those Anne Rice comics from the early 1990s.
THE VAMPIRE FAD
Before there was Twilight, there was Interview with the Vampire. Vampires were all the rage in the ‘90s, and the success of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles were much of the cause. Before you start groaning about pop culture vamp stories, keep in mind that the original Blade movie may have never been made had it not been for the mainstream interest in vampires. Without Blade proving that comic-faithful movies can be successful at the box office, there may not have been the X-Men or even the MCU for that matter.
WILL VAMPIRES BE THE NEW ZOMBIES?
When Anne Rice ruled the horror roost alongside Stephen King, several of her novels were adapted into comics. Over time, Rice turned away from horror, and her vampire stories faded into the background. Most anyone remembers about them is the polarizing Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise movie that is about as ‘90s as a ‘90s vampire movie can be.
If you bought any of those original Rice comic adaptations in the early ‘90s, they are probably sitting in the back of a longbox. Now might be a good time to dust them off because The Vampire Chronicles could be making a comeback.
Remember that AMC is the network that made zombies fashionable with The Walking Dead, and TWD was not a proven property at that time, at least not outside comic circles. The Vampire Chronicles were hugely successful in the ‘90s, and Interview remains a recognizable franchise to this day. That means there is a chance that AMC will work its magic once again and make those Anne Rice creations the hottest in all of mainstream horror just like they did for Robert Kirkman and TWD. It would be likely that we’ll see some new comics crawl out of this deal as well.
Before that happens, it will serve you well to invest in those Rice comics, starting with Interview. Here’s the latest market data to set you on your way.
ANNE RICE’S INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE #1
It all started here, at least as far as the comics. This was distributed by the independent publisher Innovation, whom I can’t say is even in business anymore. With such an unknown publisher, it is hard to believe there was much of a print run with any of these comics. If the series is a hit and someone grabs the comic rights, then you could be in for a nice payday if you buy while prices are low. The last time there was a graded copy sold online, it was a 9.2 that sold for $32 in May. As far as a 9.8, there has not been a sale since one brought $110 in 2014.
ANNE RICE’S THE VAMPIRE LESTAT #1
Another comic you should be interested in is this one. In the book series, Lestat de Lioncourt played a pivotal role in The Vampire Chronicles, and he was played by Tom Cruise in the movie (though many fans try to forget about that). Assuming the Interview reboot is a success, then Lestat could get his own solo AMC series, which would impact these comics.
The best part is that you can own a copy of Lestat #1 for a low-risk investment. The most recent sale of a graded copy was in May when a 9.4 sold for $45. The last time a 9.8 traded hands online, it brought just $32 in 2011.
ANNE RICE’S QUEEN OF THE DAMNED #1
This is another Anne Rice IP that has made it to the box office. There was a 2002 movie loosely based on the novel after TVC had lost much of its luster. Still, the movie reportedly didn’t lose money, so this may be something AMC could eye for a future reboot.
As far as the comics, a 9.8 Queen of the Damned #1 last sold for $80 this past March, breaking a seven-year hiatus after the previous copy brought just $22.50 in 2014.
ANNE RICE’S THE WITCHING HOUR #1
The Witching Hour is not part of The Vampire Chronicles, but it could very well be on the AMC agenda in the future. What should catch your attention is that Witching Hour #1 has proven to be the most valuable Anne Rice adaptation. After starting 2020 with a $20 sale in May, by December, the 9.8 sold for $120.
There’s not much to lose in investing in those TVC keys, and raw copies are selling for cheap on eBay. An entire 12-issue set of Interview with the Vampire sold for just $23 this weekend. On Friday, a copy of Lestat #1 went for $15, and the first five issues of Queen of the Damned brought the bargain price of $12.50 only two days prior. While you're at it, you might as well grab The Body Thief #1 while it's selling for $10 or even less.
With AMC steering the reboot ship, there is a strong possibility that this could suddenly rekindle TVC’s romance with pop culture.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.