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The Curse of Dracula by Marv Wolfman
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The Curse of Dracula (2005)

by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan (Illustrator)

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Can I blame dial-up for this? Does that make me sound like a time traveler? I requested The Curse of Dracula from NetGalley because HELLO, I LOVE DRACULA, as in the old-timey book. Stoker's classic spooked me deliciously and unexpectedly, so I saw that Dark Horse Comics was offering a collection of a series that involved a more modern Dracula story, and figured it would be fun.

HOWEVER. My dial-up was acting up so I didn't see the cover before requesting the book; if I had seen it, I would have known it wasn't my cup of tea, based on the artwork alone. Once I downloaded it, though, I figured I might as well read it anyway -- I mean, I like comics, and I like supernatural stories, so it's not terribly out of my range.

I'll just be upfront here: I didn't like The Curse of Dracula. The story felt incomplete, and I like my TPBs to feel more contained within themselves. The artwork was okay, but came off as dated, and I found it confusing at times, although part of the difficulty might have been that I was viewing it on a computer screen.

I also had a problem connecting with the characters. The story is essentially this: a gang of vampire hunters are . . . hunting vampires. Also Dracula is involved in a presidential race. Don't look for a conclusion to either storyline, though, because it all just kind of STOPS at the end of the book. Maybe the series was never completed? The good guys were the vampire hunters, but they were just sketches, for the most part, and when one of their number was seriously injured, I honestly had to go back to the beginning of the book to remember who he was. The plot isn't cohesive and it's hard to be properly horrified when you're trying to figure out if you've heard of "the sanitarium" before.

It's disappointing, too, because I really, really wanted to like The Curse of Dracula after I read the foreword and introduction by Wolfman -- the foreword is from the reissue, and the introduction is from the 2005 edition -- who obviously has affection for his series and for Gene Colan, the artist behind The Curse of Dracula and Wolfman's previous series, Tomb of Dracula. Unfortunately, I enjoyed reading those bits of text way more than I enjoyed the story itself.

Maybe hardcore horror fans who are into comics would get more of a kick out of The Curse of Dracula than I did; I might just be the wrong audience for it. Anyway, it was interesting to go outside my comfort zone, but I think I'll scamper back home for a while.


(one-and-a-half stars) ( )
  karinnekarinne | Apr 3, 2013 |
I quite enjoyed this book. I've heard of the 70s "Tomb of Dracula" but never read it. This is a sequel to that series written and illustrated by the same team in 2005 with this being a new "deluxe" re-print since the illustrator has recently passed away. The story was good but never seemed to really hit its potential. I think this is because it is so short, only a 3-issue mini-series that really hit its stride in the second issue but wrapped up way too quickly in the last issue, not giving the reader enough time to mourn the loss of a major character, deal with the sudden twist and the hanging "there's more to come" ending that we know never came to fruition. Still a decent enough story, worth the read if you are into this type of thing. The art on the other hand is excellent! I was mesmerized from the beginning and enjoyed every single page. First of all I was happy with the unusual layout of the pages, no grid-like panels here. Very quirky off-set panel designs for every page made them visually delightful, the art is wonderful to behold and some of the imagery is simply disturbing to view. This one is iffy for an age range but rather than say 18+, I'm confident with 16+ as though there is language, sex and nudity; the language is minimal, there are only a couple of sex scenes and they don't show anything, and the nudity involves a few breasts, nothing you wouldn't see in a PG-13 movie but the violence and imagery does put it up there between 16/18. Having read this I am very interested in reading the "Tomb of Dracula" omnibus now. Unfortunately the huge Essential editions are out of print and I'll have to go with the smaller colour omnibus but I've added Vol. 1 to my collection already! ( )
  ElizaJane | Mar 5, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marv Wolfmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colan, GeneIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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In the 1970s, writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan created 70 issues of terrifying tales in the classic Marvel series The Tomb of Dracula. Now, Wolfman and Colan are together again, offering a fresh take on the most enduring character in horror fiction and catapulting the Lord of the Dead back into comics stardom. A mysterious and persuasive figure is moving amongst the circles of San Francisco's political elite. When Jonathan Van Helsing and his team of vampire hunters come to town investigating a string of grisly murders and stumble into a virtual pit of blood-soaked horrors, they know it's only a matter of time before they come face to face with the master of the dark!… (more)

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