About the Story
Vampire Hunter Jude is a Rated Teen Plus comedy-horror webcomic about a crossdressing vampire hunter who fights compulsive vampires in modern London. This comic mixes satire, traditional vampire lore, and mystery.
Rating & Triggers:
Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.
This comic contains vampires, blood, and other forms of fantasy violence (staking). Slurs against women and trans women are used by some villains.
The abusive vampire hunting group, Metzger, forces Jude to don the codename TRAP, a common slur against non-binary individuals. The imprint of this slur remains on his psyche.
Abusive language also exists towards the mentally ill, as vampires are often discriminated against and dehumanized for their significant impairments.
Vampire Hunter Jude contains:
- Mild Profanity
- Fantasy Violence
- Staking/Stabbing (Vampires)
- Mild Adult Situations
- References to Murder, Drugs, Alcohol
- Misogyny (villain)
- Transphobic slurs (villain)
- Derogatory character attitudes towards mental illness
Commonly used Comics Rating System (United States):
- E – EVERYONE
- Appropriate for readers of all ages.
- May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.
- T – TEEN
- Appropriate for readers age 12 and older.
- May contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.
- T+ – TEEN PLUS
- Appropriate for readers age 16 and older.
- May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.
- M – MATURE
- Appropriate for readers age 18 and older.
- May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers.
Reference: Bleeding Cool Comics & DC Comics Ratings
Reference: ESRB Rating System
Why do you focus on the word, “fetish?”
The word fetish is used two ways in this comic. In a strict anthropological sense, it is a it is a revered object of power. (It can refer to objects like totems, rosary, prayer beads, Mary figurines, and wooden stakes.) Whenever Jude weaponizes a plain object with his Vim power, it becomes a fetish: an object of power.
The second meaning refers to fixation or compulsion. In this story, vampires have compulsions, fixations, and fetishes due to the trauma of death. Society views Jude’s crossdressing as a sexual fetish. Finally, pop culture has had an overwhelming, romanticized “vampire fetish” over the course of the last two centuries.
The folklore surrounding vampires is fascinating. Buried beneath romantic trysts and dashing aristocrats is a much older tradition. These stories key in to to our fears of death and decay.
Many of the oldest vampire stories use vampires as scapegoats for natural phenomena. The poor, compulsive fellows are defeated in unsual ways, such as by forcing him to untie overly complex knots or to count grains of rice. In Norway, hailstorms were thought to be vampires dancing on the roof. The Nachzehrer hungrily gnawed his own hands till they were bloody stumps.
These archaic tales were a huge inspiration to me.
Crossdressers commonly appear in conjunction with memes and slurs like, “It’s a trap!” or horror movie sterotypes (Norman Bates, Cherry Falls). British crossdressing and pantomime dames have roots in the United Kingdom theatre and comedy. These depictions are being phased out due to some hard-won trans-rights victories.
Since my story is set in London, I wanted to subvert this Pantomime trope and depict a real crossdresser on the trans spectrum. Jude is a character who in the current timeline identifies as a crossdresser with gender dysphoria.
He has to face internalized issues like being seen as “humorous,” “psycho-man-in-a-dress,” or “deceitful/trap-like.” His hurt feelings manifest in a myriad of ways: acting out, performing to stereotypes, low-self-worth, and purging his wardrobe. SPOILER: His time with Metzger reinforced the negative stereotype and low self-worth, ridiculing him and forcing him to wear the codename TRAP, a slur against his identity.
Jude’s crossdressing gives him a window to understand the mental anguish and distress the vampires undergo, since both mental illness and unconventional dressing habits tend to be misunderstood and shunned by society.
It’s difficult to begin with recognizeable tropes (crazy people are monsters, crossdressers are psycho) and try to subvert them. If there’s any language you’d like to see changed, I’ll work on it. Simply use the contact form or email to: feedback <at> vampirehunterjude.com.