Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Alex De Campi
Artist: Erica Henderson
Release Date: 7th October 2020
Quincy Harker stalks the night, waiting for the city to give up its dead to him. Making his living photographing the deaths of the rich and famous for any paper willing to pay the price, Harker gets to see the metaphorical demons lurking in the shadows of Los Angeles. Unfortunately for him, the real demons in the shadows have seen him, and their attention is something he really doesn’t want.
If you haven’t guessed from the title, this is a story about Dracula – more specifically, it’s a story about the Brides of Dracula. But what if Dracula wasn’t the handsome, charming and erudite prince that we expect in a vampire story? What if he was a faceless ancient horror preying on the young and beautiful to fuel his terrible existence? What promises would drive his “brides” to sell their souls to him? These are the question that Alex De Campi and Erica Henderson pose in this brand new Image Comics OGN.
This is a really interesting take on the genre, and if you want to just take the story at face value it’s a great pulp novel. I did like very much the way De Campi turns the story on its head and makes Harker the bait in a very devious trap. I also liked the fact that Dracula is a Monster that deserves the capital letter. I mean, we all know that he’s a monster, but in this story he’s not a tragic figure, he’s not going to be the subject of a teenage girl’s late night diary entries, and he certainly ain’t going to sparkle.
Henderson’s artwork is inventive and explosive and splashed with a neon landscape that makes everything jump off the page. In fact, there are some pages here that I’m certain should be viewed through 3D glasses. The creature design in particular is fantastic. I thought the depiction of Dracula was pretty unique and gives the reader a real sense of the otherworldly and unknowable. There are some genuinely beautiful pieces of art in this book, and while not everything lands for me every time in the detail, there is nothing that distracts or takes you out of the story.
A lot of attention has also been paid to how the narrative and artwork spans pages and spreads, and it’s clear that De Campi and Henderson have really thought about how to lead the reader from panel to panel and page to page without breaking the tension or flow of the story.
Overall then, this is an intriguing take on a classic story that could either be viewed as an interesting deconstruction of one of Horror’s best known tales, or be taken at face value as a really good pulp story. Either way, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek