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???
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
CC: vol 2:
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
Ashley: I also like Bloodhorne(y) University
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
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?
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
Rachel: no that seems right
Ashley: closer to the base i think
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:
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
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
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
Rachel: this is how all harlequin romance comics should be
Harlequin, please take note
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:
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
Jenny: as a running gag this was great too bc she was later just like
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
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
Ashley: I LOVED THIS LOOK
Jenny: and also this
Rachel: YOU LOVE TO SEE IT
Jenny: bc truly as much as this was a v funny and charming book (exhibit A:)
CC: I LOVE THIS PANEL
Jenny: it was also P SEXY!! (exhibit B:)
harlequin could never
CC: steamier than I expected!!!!!
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
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: what a great moment
CC: this is such a great gag
Jenny: we deserve this
CC: also, velvet is so dashing and considerate
Jenny: it’s true!!!!
Ashley: SO HUNKY
Jenny: post blood-drive snacks^^^
Ashley: aftercare is very attractive
CC: what an event for the school to host tho LOL
UT could never
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
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
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
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
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!!!!
Ashley: hahaha i appreciate that tho! and yeah it is
CC: i love u guys and also this comic LOL
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??
Rachel: ok here is mine
Ashley: BISCUIT hahahahahahahahhaa i loved that too
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
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
Jenny: take in new information, assess it, and admit mistakes
i love when they do it in a sexy way
Ashley: velvet’s scooby doo-ass facial expression
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
CC: our social media is at the bottom
i felt very seen in that moment
Jenny: lol bless
CC: hell yeah i’d like & subscribe to that
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
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;
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!!!!
Rachel: see you in hell, Harlequin!!!!