There are certain comic book titles that, regardless of their age, their genre, their publication format or their trade dress, always seem to come up again and again in conversation.
They’re ever-lasting, it seems. Undying works of art that are discovered and re-discovered by generations that follow the witnesses to the original release.
The Tomb of Dracula, featuring everyone’s favourite undying vampire is one such publication.
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
You should have. We’ve featured The Tomb of Dracula on Biff Bam Pop! a number of times. The late, great, Glenn Walker gave a fantastic historic account of the 1970’s Marvel Comics monthly horror series a while back, which you can find right here. Site contributor, Jason Shayer, also shared his love for the title in a Tales From The Longbox column a few years ago.
More recently, I too brought up The Tomb of Dracula in one of BBP’s 31 Days of Horror (the October 2017 edition) features. You can find that piece here.
But it’s today’s release of the sumptuous and absolutely stunning Gene Colan’s the Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition that’s got everyone talking – so long as they can stop their mouths from watering!
Gene Colan’s The Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition
Written By: Marv Wolfman
Illustrated By: Gene Colan
Published By: IDW Publishing
It was the early 1980s and it was the hard-boiled, 1930’s inspired private dick genre four-issue mini-series Nathaniel Dusk, published by DC Comics.(For eagle-eyed readers, the character of Nathaniel Dusk just made for a pretty wicked Easter Egg in Doomsday Clock #2, also from DC Comics. Boy, do we need to see a nice hardcover compilation of that series and its four-issue sequel!)
Colan’s sense of period, mixed with his absolutely mastery of shape, form and shadow was perfect for the hard-boiled Dusk. No artist had or has such a wonderful cinematic quality to their line work and framing. Colan was a master’s master, renowned and beloved in the comic book industry and by the readers of his work.
But a decade earlier, in the early 1970s, Colan’s artistic and atmospheric visual sensibilities were put on display in the monthly horror series, The Tomb of Dracula, published by Marvel Comics. It was a work that would make the man a legend, a series that would be talked about again and again over the many years that followed its original publication, in all the various formats and compilations it would find itself within.
But today sees something altogether different, something altogether beautiful.
Gene Colan’s The Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition is a celebration of Colan’s art on the series. Published by IDW, the Artist’s Edition series of over-sized hardcovers spotlight the great work of artists. IDW reproduces their original drawing’s, in this case, Colan’s original pencil work, in their original size, turning sketch lines and cross-hatchings to larger-than-life artistic galas in the open hands of readers. They are a seldom seen peek at the artistic process and craft of a great artist.
Gene Colan’s The Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition is a large, 144-page, black and white hardcover collection of five of the original stories in The Tomb of Dracula series, along with an incredible gallery section.
It’s a must-have for any comic book fan or historian or lover of art, sequential, horror, or otherwise. Make the run to your better local comic book shop today and pick it up – it’s pricey at about $125, but this book can’t come highly recommended enough!