Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Essential for Halloween: Tomb of Dracula

I received a package containing the fruits of my inaugural Sequential Swap exchange this afternoon. I'm pretty excited to check out the contents, which included Pounded, Astronauts In Trouble: Live From the Moon and Top Shelf Asks the Big Questions. However, the book I was most psyched to see when I tore open the package was Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 1!

Some background might be in order, I suppose. I was born in 1976, so I effectively missed out on the whole mid-seventies horror revivial that the Comics Code Authority changes brought about. I think I had a copy of Werewolf By Night in my collection as a kid, but I don't remember giving it more than a cursory look. See, I was a DC reader, and still am today. To a young DC reader, Marvel books from the seventies looked terrifying. And I'm not just talking about the horror books, the whole damn line was scary!

The colors were darker, all oranges and browns, the inking seemed muddy, the printing seemd darker, and then there was Gene Colan. It didn't really seem to make a difference what the subject matter was, every page of Colan art seemed to me like it was infused with near-satanic evil. It's only in recent years that I've begun to appreciate the energy and atmosphere his pencils produced.

So, as a result, I have vitually no experience with the once-popular Tomb of Dracula series. I know Blade first appeared in its pages, but other than that, I'm pretty much a blank slate. Which is why I am really looking forward to digging into this phonebook sized chunk of the macabre.

And just in time for Halloween, no less. Awesome.


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