REVIEW: ‘Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter’ – Facing Danger With Friends

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ham Helsing - But Why Tho

Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter is a children’s adventure graphic novel published by Random House Children’s Books and is written and illustrated by Rich Moyer. The Helsing name has long been synonymous with the pursuit of vampire hunting. A long linage of reckless, foolhardy adventurers litters the family tree, making the Helsing name one of the most prominent names in the art. Until recently, this tradition was carried on by Chad Helsing. But, with his recent death, the duty falls onto his younger brother Ham. Not nearly as enthusiastic about the pursuit, he nonetheless answers a besieged town’s cry for help.

It has been said that there is a fine line between brave and stupid. While one should never allow themselves to become enslaved by their fears, it is a good idea to listen and consider what your fear is telling you. It might just be making a good point. The Helsing family seems to have forgotten such wisdom, as Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter‘s introductory pages are quick to demonstrate. The family’s deep-seated, foolhardy disregard for danger is nothing short of rank madness. That the various adventurers in the family manage to survive long enough to have kids is in and of itself a minor miracle.

Into this reckless family is born young Ham. Ham has a much more level-headed approach to life. While he seems to admire the “bravery” of his predecessors, he sees himself as a rather timid individual. Just how timid Ham actually is and what it really means to be brave are some of the key themes of Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter.

As Ham goes about on his quest to free the small village of the monster that plagues it, he manages to gather around him a motley crew that includes a couple of comical rats, a ninja pig, and a werewolf boy who believes he is at summer camp. While this mismatched crew has some rough edges to it, they manage to band together to see their quest fulfilled. There is a lot of charm in Moyer’s writing of these characters. Seeing how they come together as a team is a genuine treat.

Along with its exploration about what bravery really is, and how brave Ham may, or may not actually be, Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter also does a great job of talking about the importance of not judging a book by its cover.

As Ham and his friends pursue their goals, they meet many different creatures and monsters along the way. And while some are the threats they appear to be, many are something altogether different. You just have to take the time to see what’s actually there.

The art throughout this book’s 240ish pages delivers the story in a lighthearted and fun fashion. The misadventures of Ham and his cohorts are always portrayed in an amply goofy way. The linework does a great job of evoking a classic cartoon feeling.

When all is said and done, Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter delivers a story full of lighthearted humor, goofy adventure, and some well-delivered lessons about bravery and learning who a person is before judging them.

Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter is available for purchase now.

Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter delivers a story full of lighthearted humor, goofy adventure, and some well-delivered lessons about bravery and learning who a person is before judging them.