It is a time when the leaves turn shades of red and yellow and brown, then die and pile forlornly on the ground below. It is a time when the wind blows sharply stronger while the sky turns a gray overcast. It is a time when the days become shorter and the nights become longer and malevolent shadows seem to lurk around every corner.
Every day of October, and especially the last day of the month, deserves a dose of classic horror! Whether you’re a fan of film, television, art, music, books, or comic books, there’s something for everyone’s thirst for the darker elements of pop culture mythology this time of year.
During the early part of the 1970’s, comic book publishers pushed and pulled and railed against the yoke of the Comics Code Authority – and horror-themed comics were on the front lines of that war, growing increasingly popular by readers.
With Tomb of Dracula, originally published in 1972, Marvel Comics brought horror to the masses! Drawing upon Bram Stoker’s classic character, here was a comic book version of Dracula like no other: creatively cinematic in scope, dreamily horrific in the telling, Dracula was an antagonistic and charismatic title character that a reader could both fear and root for!
And now, Marvel Comics publishes those classic tales again in a new paperback volume called, appropriately enough, Tomb Of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1!
This is not the first time the writers of Biff Bam Pop! have chronicled their love for the Tomb Of Dracula series.
Staple contributor and BBP! editor, Glenn Walker, gave a wonderful historic account of the Tomb Of Dracula series back in 2012. Appropriately, it, too, was published during that year’s sequence of 31 Days Of Horror pieces! You can read it here.
BBP! contributor ,Jason Shayer got in on the horror act that same year, with another historical look at Tomb of Dracula in the Tales From The Longbox column. Along with the series’ historical relevance, there’s some interesting trivia in that particular piece by Shayer, which you can read right here.
On a personal note, I’ve purchased and read the collected three hardcover volumes of the Tomb Of Dracula Omnibus, published by Marvel Comics from 2008 through 2010. They are weighty tomes, indeed, each as heavy as a coffin filled to the brim with unconsecrated earth, with each book containing nearly 1000 pages of comic book brilliance (and horror). Originally, they could each be purchased for approximately $100, but the first volume, now in scarce supply, can fetch upwards of $500, with some sellers asking for exorbitant prices as high as $3500!
That’s absolutely ridiculous, maddening even, if you’re in the market for your very own Omnibus copy! It, does, however, make the great series virtually unobtainable to most people – and this is a series meant to be enjoyed, much like Dracula himself, for countless generations!
But as Dracula tells those attempting to put a stake in his dead heart in the first issue of the Tomb of Dracula series: “I promise you, foul daylighter…Dracula is not so easily dispatched…for long.”
And this week, we get a new softcover trade paperback version of Tomb of Dracula: the Complete Collection Vol. 1 at the much more affordable price of approximately $25.
Here again is the delicious tale of Dracula, hunted by those who would see him dead in a more <ah-hem> permanent fashion, including: Frank Drake, Dracula’s living descendant, and the vampire hunters Rachel Van Helsing and Quincy Harker. And of course, there’s the incessant and deadly vampire hunter, Blade, who is after Dracula as well.
Tomb of Dracula: the Complete Collection Vol. 1 is written by industry luminaries such as Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Gardner Fox and Marv Wolfman, and cinematically illustrated by the atmospheric pencil work of the legendary Gene Colan. Joining Colan are the big names of Alan Weiss, Rich Buckler and Neal Adams! It’s truly a who’s who of illustrative talent that graces the 512 pages of this first volume of blood suckers, monsters, hell-crawlers, wizards, voodoo queens and gargoyles!
Treat yourself to a fabulous scare this Halloween season – pick up and read Tomb of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 by candlelight, with the cold October wind blowing through leafless limbs, as they restlessly tap against your bedroom window!
It’s the perfect setting for such a perfect read!