Dracula: Vlad the Impaler
Roy Thomas (Author) • Esteban Maroto (Art)
Reviewed By A.S. MacKenzie
Not many people know that my start in horror came in the third grade when my class was given a series of graphic novels of classic literature. They hoped that it would spur a love of reading in a group of wild kids who’d rather play dodgeball than sit with a book. For me, I was the kid who’d rather sit with a book. So, while the teachers were damn near begging some of the kids to read at least one of them, I read all of them. Dumas, Anderson, Dickens, Melville…they all became indelible parts of my imagination and understanding of literature. But, it was the few works of a certain gentleman named Poe that stuck with me. I must have read that version of Pit & the Pendulum and The Raven a hundred times each. Couldn’t get enough and that has stayed with me all these (many) years.
This new graphic novel from IDW about the most famous horror icon of all, Dracula, will hopefully be the catalyst for many new readers and writers for years to come. Roy Thomas has done an incredible job of taking the historical record of the real-life person and married it with the legendary version of the mythic monster so well, it’s difficult to tell where they intersect. Coupled with outstanding B&W art from Maroto and you have everything third-grader me loved and adored.
The story follows young Vlad on his progress through life and it does so using a melodrama reserved typically for the stage. Every character is the amplification of emotion and personality, which if read outside of the artwork would feel over the top. But, with the artwork, it fits and makes the story feel like we’re peeking in on a legend or myth as it is being retold over a fire by the village elder. It’s disparate parts that fit together to create a book that should be on every horror writer’s and aficionado’s shelf.
Dracula: Vlad The Impaler
Dracula is one of the most well-known characters in the world. Now, read the story of the man who inspired the legend in this graphic novel available again for the first time in almost 30 years.
A prince of Wallachia and son of Vlad Dracul (The Dragon), Vlad Dracul the Younger (Vlad Dracula) is taken hostage as a young man by Sultan Mehmed I to ensure his father’s loyalty. When his father is killed at the hands of traitorous nobles in his own land, he assumes the crown and wages a cruel war to regain his lands and avenge his father. Throughout his life, he continued the fight to retain his kingdom, committing acts that would later lead to the formation of the famous character created by Bram Stoker. Originally published in the 1990s, it is now presented for the first time in black and white to showcase the beautiful art of Esteban Maroto.
You can buy Dracula: Vlad The Impaler from IDW Publishing
A. S. MacKenzie
A. S. MacKenzie is an Atlanta based author who loves all things books, movies, games, and comics. He lives with his wife, spoiled dogs, and an unhealthy obsession with building things. He can be found building worlds in books, building plastic models, or building with wood. Check out his website at asmackenzie.com for ways to join his newsletter and read free stories. Also, he’s been known to frequent Twitter (@a_s_mackenzie) to say something vaguely interesting and Instagram (a.s.mackenzie) for food, travel, and random pics.