Graphic Novel Review: Letters for Lucardo
Artist: Noora Heikkilä
Series: Letters for Lucardo #1
Published by Iron Circus Comics on January 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance, Supernatural
Ed Fiedler is a common man. 61 years old and employed as a scribe in a royal palace, his most regular client is Lucardo von Gishaupt, a forever-young aristocrat... and member of the mysterious and revered Night Court. When the eternally 33-year-old Lucardo and the aging Ed develop feelings for one another, both are forced to contend with the culture shock of a mortal man's presence among the deathless, the dangerous disapproval of the sitting Lord of the Night Court, and Ed's own ever-present mortality, threatening to bring an end to their romance in the blink of an everlasting eye.
Reviewer’s Note: Letters for Lucario is, to quote the author: “an erotic graphic novel. It contains adult situations and content, and is inappropriate for anyone under age 18.” While this review is as SFW as it can get, the book itself… shows everything. So adults only.
In case you didn’t know, I am a big fan of anything vampire. I even run a podcast dedicated to the discussion of vampires in media. And in case you aren’t familiar with the Bloodsucking Feminists and our
rantings opinions, you’ll know that vampire fiction tends to be about straight white pretty people. So when browsing Kickstarter for anything to do with vampires please somebody help me I discovered a kickstarter for a graphic novel about the same-sex romance between a 61 year old man and a vampire of colour I had to investigate.
With the general concept – an old vampire falling for a man physically older than him, and too old to survive being turned – was enough to get me interested, the artwork sealed the deal.
The art is elegant, beautiful, and yet has so much emotion and humour. Throughout the story it hits all the right notes in perfect time: whether moment of sorrow, quiet contemplation, or straight-up humour, Noora Heikkilä’s artwork gets it perfect every time. The backdrops are gorgeous, and the characters – especially Ed and Lucardo – are so expressive and full of life.
It’s also hella NSFW, so be careful who might read it over your shoulder, I guess. XD
The story itself is on the surface, simple, but Ed’s age lets Noora Heikkilä explore the vampire/mortal dynamic in a way that isn’t really seen. For all of Bella Swan’s worries about being one year older, it is nothing compared to Ed who if he’s lucky has ten to fifteen years left. Plus it gives their relationship a refreshing dynamic, as Lucardo pivots between the older and more experienced vampire, and the younger half of an age-gap couple. For all the centuries he has on Ed, Lucardo does not have the maturity that comes with aging and facing your own mortality. To see a vampire story where the human is not desperate to be turned makes for a welcome change. Although the setting is simple, it works excellently with the tale, the glimpses into the Night Court and the society around it make me curious to know more.
In addition to Lucardo, the majority of vampires in Letters to Lucardo are not white (unlike most vampire fiction, which loves its deathly pallor). One of Lucardo’s sisters appears to be white, but she is the exception (the relationship is not a biological one in the sense that humans have; Lucardo mentions ‘gifting’ two of his sisters). Also one of the vampire leaders, Elimedes, is explicitly mentioned to be neither “a man nor a woman”, and they use the pronoun they.
As a vampire fan, Letters to Lucario is everything I have wanted out of a vampire romance. It’s sweet, it’s sexy, it’s funny, and it explores facets of a vampire/mortal romance that too many other works ignore. I am eagerly looking forward to the next four parts (yes, it’s a four part series, with all the waiting it entails).
Letters for Lucardo is available for purchase from the Iron Circus Comics store.