True Blood : All Together Now v. 1 Hardback
* Blood and sex mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte's, when Sookie and her friends are trapped by a vengeful spirit who feeds on shame.
People die and dirty secrets are revealed as Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara, Jason, and Lafayette and are all coerced to dig deep and tell painful memories from their past - those things we all have locked within us that we never tell another living soul!
Bon Temps, Louisiana has never been stranger, or more twisted, in a story co-plotted by True Blood series creator Alan Ball, with a script by David Tischman (Bite Club) and Mariah Huehner, and lush art by David Messina (Star Trek: Countdown).
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 160 pages, colour illustrations
- Publisher: Idea & Design Works
- Publication Date: 15/02/2011
- Category: Horror & ghost stories
- ISBN: 9781600108686
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by kmartin802
So, this story begins on a rainy night in Louisiana. An evil spirit, and Imp Shaloop, comes to Merlotte's and traps the staff and patrons. It is an old Choctaw spirit that eats souls with evil thoughts. He calls himself Ted and requires all of the patrons to tell the most shameful secret about themselves before he will let them go. Sookie, Eric, Tara, Sam, Lafayette, and Jason willingly tell their stories. Bill is the last to tell his. But the spirit is a trickster whose real purpose is to take revenge on Eric because Eric refused to help the trickster spirit's mother when the spirit begged for help. The spirit also kills a number of the patrons in Merlotte's including the girl who was Jason's date. But since the characters killed by Ted, in the Star Trek terminology, are all "red shirts", we don't really miss them. There deaths just serve to ramp up the sense of danger. After the trickster collects all the stories, he forces Eric to feel all the emotions he collected which is very hard on a vampire. Then he lets them go. But Eric sticks around to talk to Sookie about something he really fears - a crazy vampire that he thought Godric had staked. Then the book ends on that cliffhanger.The story was interesting and had some backstory about our favorite characters that help make them more well-rounded people. I would have liked more depth to the story but lack of depth seems to be a characteristic of graphic novels that I don't feel the art quite compensates for. The full-color art was well-done except for one frame early in the book where the terrible scary monster was almost completely swallowed the by center binding of the book (pp 14-15). The characters mostly look like they do on the television show. I did have trouble recognizing Tara in a couple of the frames. I liked the composition of the frames and the color palette used. This would be a good book for fans of True Blood to have if they, like me, are waiting for the next season to come out on DVD.
Review by MrsMich02
All Together Now takes place around Season 2 and before Season 3 on the TV series. True Blood creator, Alan Ball, states in the introduction that this graphic novel reveals some back stories of the main characters. It also provides him with an alternate medium to support the TV show without the restraints to creativity.Sookie, Tara, Sam, Lafayette and Jason are held hostage at Merlotte's along with customers by Ted, an imp shaloop. He is a trickster spirit who used to be worshiped by the Choctaw Indians. He feeds on the emotions, especially guilt, of other beings. His form is part man, part octopus or squid with a huge sharp distentable jaw.Eric comes to the bar to speak to Sookie. Bill follows shortly after. Ted "eats" Jason's girl-of-the-day to prove he's serious. He reveals that someone in the group has wronged him and he will keep them trapped until they all reveal to him the things in their past they feel most guilty for.A couple of rednecks try to take out Ted. He literally sucks them dry. Both Bill and Sam try to go against him and are easily brushed away. Even though ted goes after Sookie, Eric doesn't jump in. Because Ted won't leave until they all talk, Sookie decides to go first.She remembers the day her parents took Jason and Her to Gran's house so they could leave for a working trip. Sookie overhears her parents thoughts about her and lashes out; telling them to leave and never come back and that she hates them. That was also the night they died in the flash flood. Sookie never got to apologize. Ted makes a nasty comment and Jason tries to attack him with no luck.Eric goes next. He tells them about Rachel, a girl he knew in the 1500's in Europe. Godric had left him with a vamp named Nikolai. They're all captured by members of the Inquisition, headed by The Magister. After he takes a break from torturing Eric, He tells Rachel that he will put Eric on the wheel for more unless she agrees to give him the names of the underground rebel leaders. Despite Eric's protests, she gives up the names, including her father, to save Eric. The Magister kills her right after. Her last words to Eric ask him to make their deaths matter. He admits it was the last time he felt something about a human's death and for that, he feels shame. Godric and he destroyed all the Inquisitioners they could find. He says he felt humbled by her sacrifice and didn't like it. Some of the rednecks tease Eric and he attacks them.During the chaos, Sam mentions that Ted is avoiding wood. He tells Tara he needs a diversion to try to find a weakness.Tara describes her childhood to them all. She always had to take care of her alcoholic mother who would always have sketchy guys around as well. Tara watered down the liquor thinking she could help her mother. Because the booze wasn't working, one of the boyfriends gave her mother drugs. Tara found her overdosed and she had to go to the hospital. Lettie Mae's boyfriend came after her for taking his drugs. Tara's mom too his side even though Tara had been trying to protect her. She felt the guilt over her mother's overdose. She felt if she hadn't tried to stop her, she wouldn't have almost died from the drugs.Sam grabs a bottle from behind the bar, changes into a dog and attacks Ted. He breaks the bottle into the imp's mouth.Meanwhile, Andy and the Sheriff are outside trying to figure out what's going on. The bar is encased in a shield. While Andy wants to try dangerous ways to break through, Bud decides it's best to just wait and see what happens.The bottle contained grain alcohol, distilled from wood - Ted's weakness. Even weakened, he still sucks dry one of the two guys who try to rip him apart. Sam stands up to protect the remaining guy and tells his story.As a teenager, he spent a lot of time shifted into his dog form. He formed a friendship with a dog called Arthur. They were captured by guys doing some kind of medical research. Sam attacks the doctor and causes a chain reaction that sets the building on fire. He tried to set Arthur and the other animals free but the fire's gotten out of control. He finally realizes he can shift and get out. Even though he gets Arthur out, he still dies from all the smoke. Sam was used to everyone letting him down; he hated that he was the one who let Arthur down.Even though Ted loves Sam's story, he sucks dry another person. So, Jason goes next. He talks about a teacher he had in high school. Mrs. Lemore was his friend Peter's mom. Mrs. Lemore was always trying to help Jason but soon she started hitting on him. He knew it was wrong of her to do it, but he was a teenager with hormones. Eventually, he gave into her and they were caught by Peter. Jason tried to apologize but Peter wouldn't listen. The Lemores' marriage broke up and Peter and his mom left town. He tried writing to her but she never wrote back. Even though he knew she was the one who was wrong, deep down he always felt like the outcome was all his fault.Bill lets on to Sookie that he's working on a plan. Eric 'volunteers' Lafayette to go next to buy more time for Bill's plan.Lafayette talks about his mother and Tara's aunt, Ruby Jean. He explains how she used to talk to herself and was seriously paranoid. One day, she walked in on Lafayette who was experimenting with makeup and cross dressing. She hauled him to the bathtub and took a wire brush to him to try to scrub the wickedness out of him. From then on he pretending to be a tough guy but it pushed her further into craziness. She started confronting people on the street - asking them if they made her son gay. Finally, he had no choice but to have her put into the psych ward. He wonders if he had been normal, would she still have gone crazy and if she wasn't crazy would he still be gay?Jason, Sam, Tara & Lafayette sit together in support of each other. Bill is reluctant to tell his story but Ted reminds him they will remain trapped - and that the sun is coming up soon. Eric gets tense and tells Bill to start talking.Bill's story starts around the time Lorena changed him. He returns to Bon Temps and is found by a midwife named Thistle Maybery who is a kind and helpful person. He is starving. Thistle opens the curtains and Bill's vampire nature comes out. Thistle tried to escape but Bill attacks her. he drains her and burns down her house to cover up what he'd done. Lorena finds him. He now believes she was right to keep him away from human; that he is not safe. He goes with her to make their relationship work.Ted decides it's now time to tell his story. About a time when all kinds of creatures lived in the swamp before it was Bon Temps. His mother was also a trickster, but she wouldn't hurt anyone. She would only teach someone a lesson if they wronged her. The explorers and settlers came and killed everything in their way. His mother became ill from one of the diseases the settlers brought. He went to the one person he thought was strong enough to help - Eric. Eric turned him away. He wanted revenge and now felt he had it with the knowledge that the thing Eric feared the most was feeling because that's the one thing that is all human. He then channels all the emotions from the stories and zaps it into Eric. After, he drops the barrier as promised so they can all leave. They try to explain to Bud & Andy what happened.Jessica meets them outside where she's been checking out the forest. She ran into another imp named Larry. Larry was looking for Ted and he was ticked off. Sookie goes back in to confront Ted and tells him she knows he was just hiding out from Larry. She asks Eric why he came in the first place. He shows her a Fangtasia matchbook that was found with a dead vampire's remains in New Orleans. He tells her he thinks it's a warning from an insane vamp he knew 50 years ago in Berlin who he thought Godric had staked. He tells her it's not human feelings he's afraid of...it's this guy. And now this guys wants revenge...To be continued...Great as a short story. As far as the artwork goes, I'd say 50/50. The individual issue covers are gorgeous and creative. Some of the inserts look like exact replicas of photographs and are lacking individual touches. I don't feel the artists represented a couple of the characters at all. Sam and Jason were very poorly represented. But, overall, a great way to expand the TB universe.