Monday, October 16, 2017

Dracula Month Day 16: The Complete Dracula #1-5

How these papers have been placed in sequence will be made manifest in the reading of them. All needless matters have been eliminated, so that a history almost at variance with the possibilities of later-day belief may stand forth as simple fact.

So reads the preface of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. This too is how the 2009 Dynamite Entertainment comic book series The Complete Dracula opens. This five-issue limited series was an attempt at adapting the full text of the original Dracula novel plus Dracula's Guest, the adaptation was performed by writers Leah Moore & John Reppion with artist Colton Worley and covers by John Cassaday.

The irony of Moore & Reppion including the preface is that when they type "All needless matters have been eliminated" they do err - including the short story Dracula's Guest for the sake of being complete is to include an entirely irrelevant piece of data which is an interesting supplement to the novel but which doesn't truly belong in the body of the novel. Seeing Dracula's Guest adapted within Dracula does serve to make this adaptation a little different than most comic book versions of Stoker's text, but it remains a curious sidebar to the actual story of Dracula.

Beyond that, Moore, Reppion & Worley's dedication to delivering a faithful adaptation of the original text is one I heartily approve of and this may well be the definitive comic book adaptation of the original text. I don't find Worley to be entirely satisfactory as an artist as his facial expressions feel unconvincing, but the story is laid out immensely well. I'll be looking at yet more comic book adaptations of the novel before the month is out; this is the one which would best serve the reader who prefers comic books to prose.

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