Ferdinand is a vampire who appears to be unlucky in love. He’s a somewhat kind vampire in that he only uses one fang to sup to make the victim think they’ve only gotten a mosquito bite.
Lani is a sort of tree creature who is Ferdinand’s ex-girlfriend. She’s his ex because she was cheating on him. On an evening of dining out he meets another vampire named Aspirine who believes in using both fangs and takes a shine to Ferdinand.
She takes him back to her place and he meets her sister Ritaline, who is at University training to be a witch. Ferdinand weaves through the book looking for love and not particularly finding it. Ferdinand and company have four whimsical adventures in this book with loves both natural (aka human) and supernatural.
Author Joann Sfar has a sense of humor that amused me. For example, a note for help is presented to one character and his first comment is that it is full of spelling errors. That sort of humor reminded me of Lemony Snickett in a way. Sfar draws his characters with a somewhat simplistic, childlike style (Ferdinand looks like 1922’s Nosferatu but purple) but puts them in rather human situations.
He also has a style that is reminiscent of Edward Gorey, but with a main character that is more reminiscent of Woody Allen. Professor Bell (who taught Arthur Conan Doyle and was the basis of Sherlock Holmes) also makes an appearance in one of the adventures. This book collects four of Ferdinand’s adventures (Could Cupid Care Less?, Mortal Maidens on my Mind, Lonely Hearts Crossing, and Moonstruck Post-Mortem) that I think were released separately.
Whatever the case, the adventures of this neurotic vampire are quite amusing and sure to delight vampire or Sfar fans. These adventures are not complete adventures wrapping up all the characters and one hopes that more volumes are forthcoming from Sfar and First Second Books.