Graphic Classics: Bram Stoker
Dracula is one of the most famous of horror stories, blazing the way in a field that, 100 years later, is still growing in popularity. Despite being his most famous work by far, Bram Stoker wrote a plethora of other short stories and novels. It's mainly from his shorter works that the tales in this anthology of adaptations are plucked.
The collection is a mix of comics, single full page panels and illustrated prose stories. The comics are obviously of most interest to us, especially the adaptation of Lair of the White Worm (perhaps Stoker's second best known work) by Rico Scharcherl; the wonderfully atmospheric Dracula's voyage (an extract from the novel) by John W. Pierard; and The Judge's House by Gerry Alanguilan. There's a great mix of styles throughout the book, offering something for everyone, though purists may find some of the stylised works to be less weighty than the scratchy but more realistic Pierard.
The stories, despite being overshadowed by Dracula, make for a great read. Genuinely disturbing and never lacking in imagination, Stoker's yarns make gripping reading. We initially thought it a shame that the prose stories hadn't been adapted into comics, though the space that would have had to be given over allows more Stoker to be crammed in, which is certainly no bad thing.
Count Dracula himself is present throughout the book despite only having a part of his story adapted, which is probably the law when it comes to making a collection like this. However, the balance of the familiar with stories that most of us won't have read before is a happy one. And if Pierard were to publish a graphic version of Dracula in its entirety, we'd be first in the queue to have a look.
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