Depending on the copy, Bram Stoker's Dracula can run up to 400 pages, but it continues to grow in length throughout the years.
Dracula is not only a classic novel, it’s a classic horror novel. Since it was first published in 1897, it has inspired additional books, films and countless other adaptations in media. Can you just imagine if all of those offshoots were included in the original novelization?
I’m a big Dracula fan and I’m always interested to see new stakes, I mean takes, especially when they cross paths with my other loves. The character of Dracula has made several notable comic book appearances through the years but now Gary Gerani and Stuart Sayger give us something exciting and different with IDW Publishing’s Bram Stoker’s Death Ship.
The premise of the four-issue series is simple. It follows the voyage of the Russian ship, the Demeter, whose job it was to transport Dracula from Transylvania to England along with boxes of his homeland’s soil. That included the one, unbeknownst to them, with him in it. In the novel, the ship washes up on England’s shore, Dracula disembarks as a wolf and the story continues. Few selections from the Captain’s log are included.
Bram Stoker’s Death Ship fills in the gaps and shows us the reality of the doomed voyage in pure horror movie form. Good thing it’s being written by Gerani, who wrote Pumpkinhead.
This isn’t the first time something like this has been tried in existing entertainment. The Wachowski Brothers attempted something similar with Enter the Matrix, the video game companion that expanded upon the sequels to The Matrix and Ender’s Shadow developed a whole other side to the story we didn’t see in the original Ender’s Game.
This isn’t the first time a comic has explored a gap in famous literary work either. Wonderland by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew shows us who the mysterious Maryanne is that the White Rabbit refers to very briefly at the beginning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Whereas Wonderland was bright and bubbly, Bram Stoker’s Death Ship is dark and gritty. As it should be. Sayger really sets the mood for those countless days and nights at sea.
“This book is really creepy,” said IDW’s Senior Editor, Bob Schreck. “If you love the Bram Stoker original, you’re absolutely going to love this comic book series, as both Gary and Stuart worked very hard to capture that sense of dread in the pit of your stomach and stark raving mind-shattering fear.”
And truthfully? It really is creepy, classic horror. In issue number one, (in stores now) we’re introduced to our crewmembers. I was already taking bets on which one would be the first to go and which would make it to issue four.
You can’t really go wrong when starting with something that’s already been successful and IDW picked a great one here. In fact, a screenplay titled The Last Voyage of the Demeter written by Bragi Schut ten years ago, could be made into a film soon. But knowing Hollywood, we could be waiting another ten years for that.
Do yourself a favor and go pick up Bram Stoker’s Death Ship, issue two hits stores June 30.