THE COMPLETE DRACULA FILES
Here’s a rare treat, and a nostalgic trip down memory lane to the heyday of British comics.
The early ‘80s saw a quirky newcomer to the ranks of home grown original comics on newsagents’ shelves. The title was Scream and it hit the shops every Monday at the princely price of 22p. A far cry from Victor, Battle or Tiger which specialised in wartime heroics and football stories such as Roy of the Rovers, it was Britain’s first horror comic aimed at kids.
The stories were never as lurid or gory as the American E.C. comics of the fifties, but The Dracula Files most certainly had its moments. This volume gathers the entire run of the serialised strip, including three that were commissioned before the comic ended its run and were included in subsequent one-off specials.
Atmospherically drawn by Eric Bradbury, Simon Furman and Gerry Finley-Day’s script takes the immortal Count from his Carpathian castle to the then-modern day England, where he’s mistaken initially as a defector from behind the iron curtain. Once here, sleeping on a bed of his native soil brought over during his last visit, he goes on his usual feeding frenzy, but of course – there’s a vampire hunter on his tail – the aptly named Stakis.
The story is better than one would expect, given the fact it’s aimed at schoolboys – and it carries as much black and white gore as needed to keep its audience happy and interested. The transplanting of the vampire to England, though a staple of both Bram Stoker’s book and film adaptations, is nothing new – remember Dracula AD 1972? But there’s a sly wit here, a tongue-in-cheek element that has Dracula feeling the effects of feeding on some meth drinkers and hiding in his mist form in a post box. Best of all, who could resist an instalment titled The Bus That Dripped Blood. Sadly, the count was cut down in his prime when Scream was cancelled with the serial not fully finished.
Despite this, it’s a bloody good fun read to get your teeth into!
INFO: THE COMPLETE DRACULA FILES / AUTHOR: GERRY FINLEY-DAY, SIMON FURMAN / ARTIST: ERIC BRADBURY, GEOFF SENIOR / PUBLISHER: HIBERNIA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW