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The TRUE BLOOD graphic novel ALL TOGETHER NOW (IDW; $24.99) collects the first six-issue series of TRUE BLOOD comic books, inspired, of course, by the hit HBO show and Charlaine Harris books. ALL TOGETHER NOW takes place at Merlotte’s during a thunderstorm. Characters Sookie, Jason, Eric, Tara, Lafayette and Sam, as well as a few locals, are hanging out inside, waiting out the bad weather. When the psychically “gifted” Sookie approaches a dining patron, she realizes it’s really an “Imp Shaloop” named Ted, who has numerous tentacles and the ability to crush (and kill) her and her friends. Shortly after Sookie’s beau Bill arrives, he quickly gets bitch-slapped by the beast.
Sookie is able to give him strength by allowing Bill to suck her blood, but unfortunately, the rest of her pals aren’t vampires–she won’t be able to help them if they get hurt as well. The octobeast decides to play a game with the hostages at Merlotte’s in exchange for allowing them to keep their lives–they have to reveal their deepest, darkest, secrets; painful memories that they had never shared with anyone before. Sookie goes first, and tells a story of when she was a child. [SPOILER ALERT] Being able to read minds, she figured out that her parents were somewhat frightened of her, and she resented that. One day when Sookie and her brother were dropped off at their grandmother’s house, Sookie confronted her mom, told her she hated her and ran away. That night, her parents drowned in a flood. Tara tells her story next as a diversion so Sam can attack the Imp Shaloop. He fails. The rest of the gang reveals their secrets, and it appears that the strange beast is somehow feeding off of their pain.
Developed by TRUE BLOOD creator Alan Ball and show writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barrow, ALL TOGETHER NOW was co-written by David Tischman and Mariah Huehner. It features illustrations by David Messina, J. Scott Campbell, Joe Corroney and Andrew Currie. Although the story is somewhat predictable, it’s not too hard to follow, especially if you’re not a huge TRUE BLOOD fan. The graphics are realistic, but almost too much so. Rather than having a classic comic strip feel, the book appears as if images from the show were cartoonified in Photoshop and then printed. The bonus photo gallery is nothing to write home about either; mostly images that resemble fan art that one would find in a TRUE BLOOD fan blog or on deviantART.com. Overall, ALL TOGETHER NOW is enjoyable, but unless you’re a die-hard Trubie, you may have buyer’s remorse.
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