Hey guys, welcome to B’s Views and Reviews, the podcast that promotes faith-based, family friendly comics and the creators that make them, brought to you by Geek Devotions, a show by devoted geeks devoted to letting you know that you are loved. I’m B, and today on a very special episode, we’ll be participating in Fangtober as we take a look at the graphic novel adaptation of the literary classic, Dracula. Dracula was written by Bram Stoker and was originally published in 1897. The publishing company Usborne has published a graphic novel version of the story in an effort to make it more accessible to a younger audience.
Dracula follows the exploits of the count for whom the novel is named. The story begins with a man named Jonathan Harker, who is visiting the count to settle the purchase of an estate in England. Jonathan has a horrifying and haunting experience as a guest in the Count’s house, but is able to escape. Unfortunately, Dracula follows him to England and begins to prey on the innocent there. The story follows Jonathan, his wife Mina, and their band of friends as they seek to end the threat of Dracula once and for all.
The legend of the vampire did not start with Dracula, but the novel is certainly what made the concept of vampires popular. The story has all the classic elements of what we traditionally know a vampire story to be. Vampires are immortal, able to turn into animals like bats and wolves, and seek to drink the blood of the innocent. They are harmed by sunlight and holy sacraments and are repelled by garlic and crucifixes. Those who survive the bite of the vampire become vampires themselves. The only way to kill a vampire is to drive a wooden stake through his heart. All of these elements come into play in the story.
The most interesting character of the story, for me, is Professor Van Helsing. What’s most interesting about him is his knowledge of the vampire legend. The story never spells out exactly why he knows so much about vampires, but he recognizes the attacks almost immediately to be vampire attacks. When they come face to face with vampires, Van Helsing already knows what to do and has to teach others. It would be interesting for a book or graphic novel to explore exactly why Van Helsing has such a strong working knowledge of vampire myths.
Faith in a Vampire Story?
Faith is worked into the story in that holy symbols and sacraments are a guard against
vampires. A crucifix keeps vampires away, and “holy bread” used for the Lord’s Supper keeps them away. There’s even a cool scene where Van Helsing crushes up the holy wafers into powder and spreads them in a circle around his camp to keep vampires out.
There’s also a very strong theme of community. So long as the targets are with others, the vampire has very little power to influence his prey. Whenever the target is surrounded by friends and loved ones, he/she is usually able to resist the call. It’s only the lonely and alone that fall prey to the vampire’s power.
Is it Family Friendly?
As stated before, the point of this graphic novel was to introduce the story to younger readers. It is a story about vampires, so there are some scary scenes. But they’re not over the top scary. The only blood in the entire story is when Dracula has recently fed and you can see a trickle of blood dripping down his chin. Even when they kill vampires, the vampires simply fade to dust instead of bleeding. They left out some characters and major plot points that aren’t vital to the story but did represent some of the darker side of the story. All in all, this is a great intro to classics, to the story of Dracula, and to comic books in general.
Where can I get it?
Dracula, the Usborne Graphic Classic is written by Russell Punter with art by Valentino Forlini and is published by Usborne. You can get your copy at several places, including official Usborne Product Sellers. OR you can order from Usborne directly at usborne.com.
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