Blood of Dracula (Full Series) – By Baron Craze

 

I waited to review this series for a long time, until had all the issues, and hence just discover the long sought after issue 19, to complete the entire arc of the story. Blood of Dracula started in 1987 with the first issue appearing on November 1, published by Apple Comics, the series would include three stories per issue (8-pages each) for the most part and ideally for the vampire theme fans, with the tales presented in this order, Count Dracula; Death Dreams of Dracula and Dracula 2199. The first set has the Count a villain to some and hero to others, set in his customary time reference, while the second encounters an interesting tidbit, Dracula visiting different eras more as a ghost, although actually he is one, okay undead creature, and becomes more of voyeur of the events around himself. Lastly, the title tells you, set in the future, resurrected in 2199 and fighting with the new sciences of the time, this one makes the hardcore Dracula fans expand their comfort zone, but a welcome adventure.

In issue #1, for the first tale the Count dines on a well-deserved meal and with a special guest, and the readers are introduced to many key characters, the story written by Ricky Shanklin (in fact he wrote all three stories), using the character Dracula with who has appeared often in other comics as many know. One needs to mention that these wonderful comics come in the classic black and white with terrific design, all present in nice condition, nothing too outrageous. Artist Marc Hempel did the cover, and would go onto have his work appear in 17 issues of this series, and trivia note he worked on several horror comics including Blood of the Innocent and Dracula in Hell, again the common character, the Count. The second story begins a bit muddled, but the final tale works very well, and these all continue until the final issue.

The final issue, #19 published on March 19, 1991 featured only two stories the Count Dracula story and then Dracula 2199, in addition, we received 8-pages of The Lost Frankenstein Pages in a section penned by Shanklin entitled “Bidding Adieu to Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein”. Most horror fans of comics familiar with Bernie’s work, as it appears in over 390 various issues, such as House of Mystery, Creepy, House of Secrets, and Swamp Thing. Included in this tribute, the drawings of the initial Frankenstein, shown on Plate 5 and finalize sketch on Plate 6 used in the Marvel Edition (introduction from Stephen King), concluding the comic with Frankenstein’s comical end on displayed.

The issues would change around the individual stories for example in issue 12, the Death Dreams of Dracula takes on the controversial item as Dracula appears in a Nazi concentration camp and issue 14 pays respect to Bram Stoker on the cover done by Dave Dorman and Lorraine Haines. Needless this series is a treasure trove of dedicated vampire tales for the enthusiasts thoroughly to enjoy.