Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review- THE CURSE OF DRACULA


THE CURSE OF DRACULA (Dark Horse, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects The Curse of Dracula Nos. 1-3 (cover dates July- September, 1998)
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Gene Colan
Colorist: Dave Stewart

Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan are best known as the creative team behind Marvel's long running Tomb of Dracula, a macabre soap opera with a backdrop of revenge and retribution. Dark Horse's The Curse of Dracula revisits this formula but uses it as a springboard for something slightly different. There is a team of vampire hunters all with their own reason for joining this crew, and this vampire has a different motive. The only thing about this book that is disappointing is that it ends rather suddenly and with a cliffhanger ending.
Some artists' work looks better in color while others, like Colan, provide so much shading with their pencils that color strips the atmosphere away. Colan is a true master of the artform. Marv Wolfman is among the top Bronze Age comic book writers. I love his splash page writing, where he sets the tone of the scene with words as much as the picture does. So many modern writers avoid this, claiming that it is “outdated”. My gut feeling is that they don't have Wolfman's ability for foreshadowing.
 Colan passed away a few years ago, so now there is no way that we'll see more of this series. Those looking for more of the Wolfman/Colan collaboration are in luck, though. Marvel has issued Wolfman/ Colan's Tomb of Dracula in 3 Omnibus hardcovers, 4 Essential black and white phonebooks (long out of print), and there are also three full color trade paperbacks out there. They did not collect the full series in that format, though. DC issued a skinny quasi-trade of the first four issues of their early '80s series Night Force, with plans for a hardcover and trade paperback of the entire series scuttled due to low pre-orders. I'm still pissed off about that.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This book is a tremendous value at $14.99 MSRP.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Superb thick coated stock with the sweet toxic smell that all books printed in China seem to have.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Sewn binding, lays flat, I'm happy.
Hardback cover coating rating: 4 out of 5. The black portion of the cover has that dull matte finish coating which can be scuffed. The image and logo have that screen printed coating.



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