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The Curse of Dracula - Marv Wolfman, Brendan Wright, Gene Colan Can I blame dial-up for this? Does that make me sound like a time traveler? I requested The Curse of Dracula from NetGalley because HELLO, I LOVE DRACULA, as in the old-timey book. Stoker's classic spooked me deliciously and unexpectedly, so I saw that Dark Horse Comics was offering a collection of a series that involved a more modern Dracula story, and figured it would be fun.

HOWEVER. My dial-up was acting up so I didn't see the cover before requesting the book; if I had seen it, I would have known it wasn't my cup of tea, based on the artwork alone. Once I downloaded it, though, I figured I might as well read it anyway -- I mean, I like comics, and I like supernatural stories, so it's not terribly out of my range.

I'll just be upfront here: I didn't like The Curse of Dracula. The story felt incomplete, and I like my TPBs to feel more contained within themselves. The artwork was okay, but came off as dated, and I found it confusing at times, although part of the difficulty might have been that I was viewing it on a computer screen.

I also had a problem connecting with the characters. The story is essentially this: a gang of vampire hunters are . . . hunting vampires. Also Dracula is involved in a presidential race. Don't look for a conclusion to either storyline, though, because it all just kind of STOPS at the end of the book. Maybe the series was never completed? The good guys were the vampire hunters, but they were just sketches, for the most part, and when one of their number was seriously injured, I honestly had to go back to the beginning of the book to remember who he was. The plot isn't cohesive and it's hard to be properly horrified when you're trying to figure out if you've heard of "the sanitarium" before.

It's disappointing, too, because I really, really wanted to like The Curse of Dracula after I read the foreword and introduction by Wolfman -- the foreword is from the reissue, and the introduction is from the 2005 edition -- who obviously has affection for his series and for Gene Colan, the artist behind The Curse of Dracula and Wolfman's previous series, Tomb of Dracula. Unfortunately, I enjoyed reading those bits of text way more than I enjoyed the story itself.

Maybe hardcore horror fans who are into comics would get more of a kick out of The Curse of Dracula than I did; I might just be the wrong audience for it. Anyway, it was interesting to go outside my comfort zone, but I think I'll scamper back home for a while.

(one-and-a-half stars)

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