It's no secret to anyone who reads my work or follows this blog that I'm a big fan of vampires. I've blogged about them before, written a vampire novel, 100,000 Midnights, which will be the first in a series, and long been addicted to vampire novels, movies, etc.
Of course, one of my favorite characters in fiction, and certainly my favorite in the vampire genre, is Dracula, created by Bram Stoker for his novel of the same name. Stoker's book is one of my favorite novels and I've read it many times and will probably find an excuse to read it again soon.
But what about other depictions of Dracula? The count has appeared in hundreds of other novels, movies, and comics over the years. So I was thinking it might be fun to try to narrow down all those post-Stoker Dracula appearances to my favorites. I've picked the number 5 for this little exercise, since any more would make for too long a blog post! Having whittled the candidates down like Van Helsing preparing a stake, here is my list of my five favorite Draculas outside the original novel. I look forward to hearing what others think, whether they agree or disagree with me.
5. DRACULA (1931 film)
4. NOSFERATU (1922 silent film)
3. HORROR OF DRACULA (1958 movie)
2. COUNT DRACULA (1977 TV movie)
The movie made a few minor changes from the novel. Lucy and Mina are sisters instead of friends, Quincey and Arthur are combined into one character, and the final fight sequence is slightly altered (but I'm not saying how, in case you haven't seen it yet). Other than that, this version hits all the stakes on the head and is, finally, a very good adaptation of the book. The special effects, despite the limitations of 70s TV, are chilling and work well because they don't try to go too far.
I highly recommend this one!
1. TOMB OF DRACULA (Marvel Comics, 1972-1979)
Running 70 issues, this series was brilliant from start to finish. Drawn for its entire run by Gene Colan, whose art style was perfect for the subject matter, and written, except for the first few issues, by Marv Wolfman (an appropriate name for a writer of horror comics), it began with Dracula's resurrection in the modern world and followed the count's activities, as well as the adventures of a group of vampire hunters pursuing him.
Interestingly, Gene Colan based the look of his Dracula on actor Jack Palance before Palance actually played the count in a 1973 movie!
The series is available in inexpensive reprint form as part of Marvel's Essentials series of books. Every fan of Dracula, even if not normally a comics enthusiast, owes it to him or herself to read Tomb of Dracula.
So that's my countdown of favorite post-Stoker Dracula depictions. Of course, Dracula is just the tip of the vampire iceberg. I've enjoyed other vampires in many books, movies, and TV series, but that's a subject for another blog.
If you have any strong opinions on my choices, good or bad, I'd love to hear them.