Romance Roundtable #28: My Very First Vampire Blood Drive & Vampire Blood Drive 2

Welcome to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss Romance Comics (mostly). The past few months, we’ve been trying something new with this feature: pursuing and consuming things that are both good and beautiful! And this installment is possibly the greatest expression of that pursuit. Today, we’re talking about My Very First Vampire Blood Drive & Vampire Blood Drive 2, by Mira Ong Chua, who is a brilliant gift to this world and overall comics genius. Seriously — click the link. Everything in that shop is pure gold. Including this! Vampire Blood Drive! The story of a handsome lady vampire with food allergies and a girl with a rare blood type who is just trying to live a normal life! A recipe for ~romance~ if ever I heard one!


CC: I really enjoyed this one! I’m stoked to talk about it
so, wanna start off with a summary??

Rachel: yes, and we’re covering both vol 1 and 2!
(right??? otherwise whoops)

Jenny: yeah — volumes 1 & 2
but tbh my summaries are the same insofar as they are both: vampires exist?? oh no they’re hot???

Ashley: hahaha

CC: so tru
basically, in vol. 1, a university student and vampire fall in love in a world where vampires aren’t really all that weird
and in vol. 2 the protag’s best friend, a vampire hunter, also learns that vampires are very hot?? actually???
so happy for everyone in this book honestly

Ashley: very win-win-win-win situations for vampire lesbians in this book, which i appreciate
and for human lesbians who are into vampires

CC: I just wanna say that the summaries on the back of the book are
just chef’s kiss inspiring
on the back of both volumes
vol 1:

CAN LOVE BLOOM AT A BLOOD DRIVE..?
All Bunny wants is to live a normal student life, but things aren't what they seem at Bloodhorne University! When she's sept off her feet by a dashing vampire girl, Bunny's forced to decide between sticking to her ideals - or getting sucked!

CC: vol 2:

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY HOT BUTCH VAMPIRE GIRLFRIEND!!
Human girl Bunny and vampire Velvet have been enjoying their tender, bloody love life in the sleepy town of Bloodhorne, but the arrival of a famous vampire huntress could ruin it all. Will this new threat bring our lovers even closer - or will it tear them apart for good?

CC: the enemy of my enemy is my hot butch vampire girlfriend — simply inspired

Rachel: i hope to write something half as good as this someday

Ashley: it really is very good

CC: I would read an entire series about these hot vampires, for the rest of my life

Five very cute vampires walking together.

Ashley: I also like Bloodhorne(y) University

CC: LOL

Ashley: for real though, i’m glad that the whole squad showed up early on, i hope for many more of their adventures in the future

Jenny: lololol same — i love these idiots

Rachel: i’d like to petition for more appearances of Lala, Bunny’s friend from the beginning of vol 1

Bunny's internal dialog: "WAIT!! Lala's done this before! She probably picked something normal, right?!"
Lala is being bitten by three different hot vampires and is winking and giving a thumbs up to Bunny.

Ashley: HAHAHA

Rachel: this girl knows how to live

Jenny: VERY RELATABLE

CC: LOL good for you lala

Ashley: Lala knows what’s up
these first two volumes mostly deal with velvet, although the one with the scruffy light hair gets a little spotlight moment at the end of vol 2

CC: this vampire here?

"I want the GOOD stuff! I want hot fresh blood from a hot girl with big boobs!!"

CC: isn’t it at the top of maslow’s hierarchy of needs, hot fresh blood from a hot girl with big boobs?
maybe I’m misremembering

Jenny: LOLOLOLOL

Rachel: no that seems right

Ashley: closer to the base i think

Rachel: lolll

CC: oh true true

Jenny: but truly i love these dorks
and their big plan, when they hear that a vampire huntress is in town:

The vampires burst in the apartment. "Velvet! We've got trouble! We've heard a vampire hunter from the Von Heaven family is in the area - THIS IS BAD BECAUSE WE'RE VAMPIRES!!"

Ashley: lol

CC: LOL

Jenny: i hope they burst into every room leading with that, just in case the huntress was there (as she was this time)

Ashley: my vampire teenage daughter has never done anything wrong in her life

CC: maybe it’s bc bunny looks a lot like byleth to me, but the vampire squad was really giving me Fire Emblem 3 Houses Yellow Deer vibes

Rachel: LOL
i love the pupil-less look of despair of Bunny’s in that last panel
god, comics are good

Ashley: comics ARE good

CC: yeah this comic!!! especially good!! my god this art, and the paneling

Jenny: masterful!!

CC: also just how delightfully self indulgent it is in all the most fun ways
like all the ways that as a fan, appeal to everything i want hahaha

An extremely shoujo full page of Velvet holding Bunny close after she almost tripped.

Rachel: this is how all harlequin romance comics should be
Harlequin, please take note

Ashley: AGREED
it doesn’t have to be overworked at all, it can be very simple yet powerful!!

Jenny: @miraongchua is an actual genius

Ashley: this is true
also you can buy these comics as physical comics which i like
they look very good, i have seen them in person!

Rachel: ahhh this is exactly the kind of comic that would draw me in from across a con

CC: I bought the four digital comic bundle and I’m so excited to read the other two titles in it

Ashley: oooo nice
let us not also neglect:

CC: god seven seas is killin it right now

Jenny: oh man they are all so good!!
def check out roadqueen too
but truly vampire blood drive is aces
like it’s funny, it’s sexy
who doesn’t love this classic gag:

Rachel: YES

CC: god bless
this scene is so good

Rachel: so close to faceplanting in the boobs

Ashley: BANANA PEEL

Jenny: classique banana peel

CC: this was my favorite gag

Anny, in her own head: "I'd be totally at her mercy, and it would be so AWFUL..."
She imagines Velvet kissing her, and gasps out of her daydream with surprise.
Go to horny jail

Ashley: HAHAHAHA

Rachel: LOL

Jenny: as a running gag this was great too bc she was later just like

Anny after getting a glimpse of Velvet's fangs, day dreaming again: "I can already see it... Those sharp, deadly fangs would glint in the pale moonlight, and then she'd sink them into my skin."

CC: as an aside
every dang character in this book is so hot
so many different hot characters

Jenny: this is very true

CC: i love to see it
very distinct but all so hot

Ashley: ALL OF THEM

Jenny: it’s just good character design

Rachel: i will say i’m glad the author clarified these folks are in university
at first I thought bunny’s outfit was a high school uniform??
and that might have been intentional as a reference but
v glad to see adults getting intimate and not children lol

CC: LOL SAME

Ashley: hahaha

Jenny: i mean–very fair; important to make that 18+ explicit

CC: also bunny’s hot vampire girlfriend aesthetic towards the end of vol 1

Bunny, wearing a short black dress, black leather jacket, and cute black booties, walking towards Velvet.
Panel 1: Velvet's arm around Bunny's waist.
Panel 2: Bunny slides Velvet's hand down to her butt.

Ashley: I LOVED THIS LOOK

Jenny: and also this

Ashley: hehehe

Rachel: YOU LOVE TO SEE IT

Jenny: bc truly as much as this was a v funny and charming book (exhibit A:)

Velvet: "So, where do you like being bitten?"
Bunny: *GAY PANIC*

CC: I LOVE THIS PANEL

Jenny: it was also P SEXY!! (exhibit B:)

A series of very sexy panels, Velvet and Bunny smooching.

Rachel: yahhhh!!!!
harlequin could never

CC: steamier than I expected!!!!!

Ashley: ????
good page

Jenny: in the way that people are both funny and sexy

CC: harlequin has never produced characters this hot
i say, as if I have read all 900 harlequin manga titles lol

Jenny: i mean, we’ve made a dent

Rachel: sometimes it feels like 900 lol

Ashley: yes!!! to that funny / sexy point, i love how physical comedy (banana peel) transitions so nicely into the meet cute
bodies are funny and sexy subsequently, and also at the same time

Jenny: just — the pacing is so nice!! the writing it so good!!
i love that we’re actively making the shift towards content we genuinely enjoy

CC: LOL

Rachel: we’ve paid our dues, we deserve it lol

CC: sometimes I do miss the cheese, but not nearly as much as I enjoy reading really fun and sexy stuff like this!!!!!!

Ashley: very same, i mean, it’s genuinely super cool too to be able to find the people making the stuff we’ve been dying to read!

Jenny: example:

After convincing herself that the red tea Bunny gave her is blood, Anny's thoughts are interrupted.
Bunny: "This bright red color is really pretty, right? I grabbed it while I was shopping yesterday. It's hibiscus tea."
Bunny: "H... hibiscus tea?"

Jenny: what a great moment

CC: this is such a great gag

Ashley: lolllll

Jenny: we deserve this

CC: also, velvet is so dashing and considerate
:’O

Jenny: it’s true!!!!

Ashley: SO HUNKY

Velvet: "I wanted to give this to you. I hope I'm not being too upfront..."
Bunny: "?!!"
Velvet, holding out mini choco snacks: "Here you go."

Jenny: post blood-drive snacks^^^
THOUGHTFUL!!!

Ashley: aftercare is very attractive

CC: what an event for the school to host tho LOL
UT could never

Ashley: HAHAHAHA
clearly a small private school can get away with a lot

Jenny: it’s true
we had a blooddrive at bryn mawr, but it was not this sexy

CC: the last time i tried to donate blood the nurse yelled at me for having weird veins!
nowhere near this experience I’ll tell you what

Ashley: yikes

Jenny: the last time i tried, they told me my heartrate was too high (needles), which i image would be an issue in this scenario too (but possibly for different reasons)

CC: yeah i can’t imagine your heartrate being high would make this specific (hot vampire) situation easier LOL
an aside but
von heaven is such a good pun
a great name for the vampire hunting family
inspired naming choice

Ashley: LOL
truly

Rachel: also Velvet for the vampire??
evocative as hell

CC: SO GOOD

Ashley: this is definitely the kind of thing that i would read 100 more of! they’re short and sweet but don’t feel rushed or anything

CC: yeah one thing I really appreciated actually
is that this comic goes pretty light on the backgrounds actually???
but it does so much heavy lifting with the paneling and lighting and character design I didn’t really notice
like, it feels like it’s packing in those details where they matter most

Jenny: yeah def didn’t feel like i was missing out on anything re: backgrounds!

Ashley: SO true. really good cartooning says so much without needing a ton of dressing

CC: still thinking about that genius Dream Daddy realization rachel mentioned last time haha

Ashley: about the hair?

CC: well just about not packing in the background detail where it’s not really needed or noticed! right?

Rachel: only drawing the front half of the car ????????????????

Ashley: oh right HAHA yes

Rachel: the biggest realization of my life

CC: like it feels to me like the priorities here are so well done
more attention to this hot couple
bc that’s where my eyes are going anyway LOL

Ashley: ????

CC: what I mean is that this comic really feels like its focus is really tight and precise, which I also appreciate as a creator
it makes me think about maybe the stuff I’ve wanted to include that uh, i maybe didn’t need to (see also, all the chairs I thought were such an important part of mine and jen’s group chat comic; i’m so sorry jen!!!!!!)

Ashley: hahahahaha CHAIRRS
but yeah, there’s definitely a LOT to be said in comics especially in focusing on what counts, allowing yourself to obsess over just the right details instead of EVERY detail
your brain is already filling in so much in between panels, it can honestly fill in stuff inside them or around them too!

Rachel: i mean i think that’s what makes comics such a cool and deep medium
and i love that folks are out here using that medium to tell sexy vampire stories

Jenny: the highest art!!

Ashley: cannot argue with that

Rachel: i also just love when people’s art is so ~their shit~ and you can just tell
like, do the thing you want in the most you way that you wanna do it
go all out

Ashley: it’s definitely nice to feel like the artist is having as much fun as the reader

CC: ohhhh me too
this comic honestly has turned me around on sexy vampire stories
getting through vol 1 thinking: finally, I Get It

Ashley: hahaha CC
yesss

CC: a sexy vampire story just for me
but yeah to your point rachel and ashley, I think that feeling makes the comic even more fun as a reader!
like, we’re having a blast together enjoying this extremely good time
i can feel the love in every panel wahhhh
????????????????????????
my corny shoujo feelings coming out here i know lol

Rachel: that’s because that’s your shit!!! and i love that it’s your shit!!!!
it’s all of our shit!!!!
ahhhh!!!!

Ashley: hahaha i appreciate that tho! and yeah it is

CC: i love u guys and also this comic LOL

Ashley: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Jenny: ????????????????????

CC: sexy vampires just bringing people together
you love to see it

Ashley: gives one hope for the future

Rachel: with that, do y’all wanna do final thoughts??

CC: yeah!

Rachel: ok here is mine

Anny when she is first introduced, holding a very cute bag with a little bow on it that says "BISCUIT".

Rachel: BISCUIT

CC: BISCUIT

Ashley: BISCUIT hahahahahahahahhaa i loved that too
so cute

Jenny: truly again — love to see this devotion to cute design!!

CC: i want to buy that bag

Rachel: it’s so so cute but is also one of those things that i would only actually use at a comic con hahahaha

CC: OH THAT’S TRUE

Jenny: love to draw the outfits i can’t justify spending money on
manifesting, in a way

Rachel: yes!!!!!

Ashley: omg seriously tho

CC: mira ong chua is so smart ????????????????

Rachel: 2 of the best things about drawing: you can draw the outfits you want and you can draw people kissing
artists are so powerful

CC: comics are incredible
such huge brains

Jenny: it’s true it’s true
my final thought
is mostly just that the writing is genuinely very good. like
i love to see a character grow and change

Anny's internal dialog: "All day, Velvet's been nothing but sweet to me. Not to mention how handsome and beautiful and powerful she is... (Her friends we're bad-looking, either.) All my life, I've never even considered there could a be a world where humans and vampires coexist. But it's been right here, all this time - and it seems so NICE. I'm honestly a little jealous."

Jenny: take in new information, assess it, and admit mistakes
but also
i love when they do it in a sexy way

Anny: "I accept. I won't hurt anyone. I won't tell my family, either."
Bunny and Velvet, relieved: WHEW
Anny: "But. In return, I have one request. Velvet..."
Anny pulls her collar apart to show her cleavage: "PLEASE FEED FROM ME!!"

Ashley: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Rachel: BOOM

Ashley: velvet’s scooby doo-ass facial expression

Rachel: rah-roh!!!

CC: i love anny so much
what a great pivot

Jenny: god yeah she’s so great

CC: ok so my final thought
is that I find it very cathartic that even hot vampires have to hustle like the rest of us plebs

Velvet: "This town holds an annual vampire blood drive. Every year, humans can volunteer and help out our local vampire community. It's a great opportunity to get involved! Our social media is at the bottom."
Bunny: "Nice sales pitch."

CC: our social media is at the bottom

Ashley: hehehehe
i felt very seen in that moment

Jenny: lol bless

CC: hell yeah i’d like & subscribe to that

Ashley: lmaoo
speaking of this relatable moment, my final thought is:
do i want to be her or do i want to let her drain my lifeblood????? the haruka tenoh of it all

Velvet, having a shoujo moment in Bunny's eyes: "She's really handsome!! She looks like a prince from some fairytale. Her features are so elegant... and her eyes..."

Rachel: !!!!!!!!!

Jenny: ????????????
so real

CC: god i know

Ashley: this vampire was made 4 me

CC: what a babe
what a book of babes
seriously would love 2 read like 19 more of these!!!!!! ;o;

Jenny: TRULY!!

Rachel: a handsome, kind, considerate person who gives me mini choco???
must be a vampire
that’s my assumption from now on

CC: LOL for real

Ashley: mini chocoooo

Jenny: Gotta plug this again, bc seriously please go check out this shop!!
everything is Very Good

CC: yeah seriously please do!!!!

Ashley: A++++++

Rachel: see you in hell, Harlequin!!!!

Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Ashley Gallagher

Ashley Gallagher

Ashley writes comics and emails from zir burrow in the Pacific Northwest. Ze is a sentient subtropical swamp fern whose favorite food is old words.
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
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