Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dracula Month Day 24: Marvel Classics Comics #9

In 1973 Pendulum Press began adapting famous works of literature into slim volumes which retold their stories in comic book format for an intended younger audience, much like Classics Illustrated. These works were produced primarily by Filipino art teams and unknowns and they've been reprinted by other publishers many times over the years. Strangely, one such place is at Marvel Comics where they reprinted many of the Pendulum books in their series Marvel Classics Comics. So it was that in 1976, Marvel Classics Comics #9 reprinted the Pendulum adaptation of Dracula.

The cover above was the only new addition to the Pendulum copy. The art is by Gil Kane & Tom Palmer and depicts a Dracula who is fairly recognizable as being the same person appearing in their Tomb of Dracula comics and Dracula Lives magazines. Within, however, Dracula was depicted with a full beard and a thin face. The adaptation was written by Naunerie Farr and drawn by the Philippines' Nestor Redondo, who would later work directly for Marvel in their Conan books.

This is the second-best adaptation of Dracula which Marvel has published. Yesterday's Stoker's Dracula had much more space to delve into the details of the novel, where as the Marvel Classics version runs at a lean 48 pages. The typewritten lettering gives the book a cheap, amateurish feel, but while the story races by quickly virtually all the details are kept intact - except for poor Quincey Morris, who is omitted from this adaptation. Considering Quincey makes such a great heroic sacrifice in the climax of the novel, isn't a shame how seldom he appears in the adapted versions of that work?

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