Deadbeats is a vampire soap opera set in Mystic Grove, Connecticut, aka “Fear City.” It ran for 82 issues and has continued as a webcomic. Richard Howell introduced a large cast of characters and numerous long-running subplots in this series. Deadbeats is very much a labor of love on his part. As a reader I appreciated it because Howell wrote a lot of dialogue, meaning that it often took some time to read each issue, making it a fulfilling experience. Howell’s penciling is richly embellished by Villagran’s inking.
This page contains a good demonstration of how Howell would have various plotlines running parallel to one another. In the top panel, Dr. V.V. Ralston and the vampire king Hermano discuss his recent vision of an apocalyptic alternate reality where vampires have taken over Mystic Grove. The middle scene has newcomer Randall Hanson and Father Gutierrez have coffee while they confer about the town’s many supernatural phenomena. The action then shifts to Tina Martinez, who has recently been transformed into the newest member of the vampire gang plaguing Mystic Grove.
The online Deadbeats comic strip can be read on the Claypool Comics website: