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The Curse of Dracula (2005)

af Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan (Illustrator)

Serier: Tomb of Dracula (reimagining)

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The Curse of Dracula is back in this deluxe new hardcover edition, a fitting tribute to the immortal legacy of artist Gene Colan! A mysterious, charismatic figure is moving amongst the circles of San Francisco's political elite, hunting for the right candidate. When Jonathan Van Helsing and his team of vampire hunters come to town investigating a string of grisly murders and stumble into a 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!… (mere)
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If you ever need proof that you can't go back again, this, right here, is your proof.

I'll leave it to everyone else to expound on how marvelous Wolfman and Colan were on their original Tomb of Dracula run (and they'd be right). Instead, I'll focus on a couple of things here.

At the beginning of this volume, Wolfman talks about how writing horror is different from most other writing, because you have to grab the reader by connecting with their fears and common dreads, about emotion. He states, "Horror demands that you create a nightmare from which the reader cannot awaken."

He's not wrong.

Unfortunately, he doesn't follow his own rule. Instead of connecting to our fears, he connects to our boredom with a facile political story that refuses to hook us because he takes absolutely no time to allow us to connect with either his heroes or Dracula himself. The characters are sketched in with the most rudimentary strokes and put through their low-stakes (pardon the pun) tasks.

There's no connection. And instead of creating a nightmare from which I couldn't awaken, he created a sleep aid that I couldn't fight off.

Colan's art was okay, but once again, nowhere near his best. Dracula deserves the deep blacks and rich reds that ink and a good colourist can bring. Greyish pencils and muted colours do a disservice to his art.

Go back and read this team's Marvel Dracula, but avoid this. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
The artwork is at times a bit hard to follow -- I twice had to backtrack, realising I'd missed plot developments because of that -- and with only three issues, the story (perhaps understandably) leaves one big loose end untied at the end, but it otherwise does a good enough job. The vampires are not glorified here, but appalling (like perhaps they should be), and Dracula is cold, suave and frightening, as he should be. Keeping him the mysterious monster (as per the writer's foreword) seems a good approach, but it does make the story at times feel like more of the same-old vampire hunting you've seen in a dozen films, comics and novels before. It adds some charm with the political coup angle (which has a couple of fun twists to it, but really could have used a lot more depth), as well as with the decision to keep the original novel in continuity and simply continue the story in present-day America. So, in conclusion, good, but not particularly memorable when all's said and done. ( )
  Lucky-Loki | Jan 30, 2020 |
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 |
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Marv Wolfmanprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Colan, GeneIllustratorhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet

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The Curse of Dracula is back in this deluxe new hardcover edition, a fitting tribute to the immortal legacy of artist Gene Colan! A mysterious, charismatic figure is moving amongst the circles of San Francisco's political elite, hunting for the right candidate. When Jonathan Van Helsing and his team of vampire hunters come to town investigating a string of grisly murders and stumble into a 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!

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