The Complete Dracula
I remember growing up when in my mind, vampires and Dracula were one and the same. I saw the name of the monster as the name of any monster of a similar form. And to take it a step further, all vampires were always dressed in formal wear. Yeah, there was a dignity to being a vampire that something like the wolfman could never have.
And then my world was expanded by so many other variations of the monster. And no I don’t count Twilight in that because seriously, vampires never sparkle (talk about damage to the dignity of a proper monster).
So the idea of Dracula has been with me for a long time. The movies in all their various forms were probably the first within horror that drew me in and continue to be some of my favorites. Heck, I think Salem’s Lot might forever remain as my favorite Stephen King story (though when I first saw the movie I was disappointed with their choice for the look of the monster. It didn’t match the description in the book. Granted, I did later learn that the choice of monster was a homage to the first Dracula movie, Nosferatu. I now give it props for that.)
And of course, I am now taking forever to get into the meat of what the topic is today. You expected that, right? So on to the point…
Horror month on Comixology Unlimited brings us to The Complete Dracula (Dynamity 2010). And this is exactly what you would expect. It is the original Bram Stoker story, told in graphic form. Everything you might remember from the book is in there, and well worth the trip.
Which makes me think, we probably don’t really need to go into great detail of the storyline because even if you haven’t read the original book, you probably already know everything about it. Dracula has been a long standing iconic vampire in not only folklore as a whole but through generations, gaining new lore and mythology associated with the character and monster.
One of the first stories I had ever read was something called The Vampire Cloak or the Vampire Cape or something similar. It came from a book of short stories (actually have the book but I’m too lazy to get it and find the exact info, mainly because it is unimportant to the thoughts). The idea of the story had been a kid who bought a cape and discovered it had originally been Dracula’s and the monster haunted him to get it back. Good stuff for a first scare. But I digress…
I feel like our fears of the dark and night have changed over so many years since the first publication of Stoker’s work. The romantic notion of vampires have evolved through the years (Anne Rice really brought a lot to the mythology).
There has been quite a bit of talk of fan fiction over the years. The various storylines that people have followed through their favorite worlds and such. But oddly, when we think of the thousands of stories written of various vampires we overlook the thought that they are all different forms of fan fiction and homages to the story that started it all.
Some of my favorite bits of story telling came from my time playing Vampire the Masquerade. New stories and interpretations of the Count grew not only from bits and pieces within the player manuals but also from the lore created by all the people who delved into the game.
So yeah, I figure I should probably come to the end of this ramble. I have spent a bit too much time now in unorganized memories that have probably sent you in directions that you didn’t want to go. But that is the power of nostalgia. I know I can’t approach something like Dracula without unpacking all the ways the story has connected to moments in my mind.
Even with something as horrible as Twilight there are connections. I saw the first one in the theater with my daughter when she was thirteen. As much as I could complain about the atrocity of it all, there were still some connections to add to the mythology of one of the greatest monsters in horror.
Spend some time within the pages of The Complete Dracula, read the original work, or spend some time with one of the classic movies. There are memories and moments to reconnect in your mind. You may find something you never expected.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.