01/05/2009. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Some say that 2009 is the year of the Vampire, with Guillermo del Toro and Justin Cronin releasing trilogies, as well as shows like True Blood and films like Twilight keeping the Vampire myth alive. And in October, the first Stoker Family approved sequel novel is released - Dracula: The Un-Dead, by Bram Stoker’s Great-Grand Nephew Dacre Stoker and Dracula historian Ian Holt.
"We are honoured to have people such as Dacre Stoker, Ian Holt and Leslie Klinger involved in our book, if only in a small way." Harry Markos, publisher of Markosia, told SFcrowsnest. "Tony met with Leslie in January, then Dacre and Ian in New York in February, and since then they’ve been incredibly helpful and supportive of our project. With so many sequels out there that have no loyalty to the original book, it’s great that a book that does stay faithful to its source material gets such a windfall."
From The Pages Of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Harker is a graphic novel from AAM/Markosia that continues Bram Stoker’s story in comic format, following the lives of the main characters from the novel, six months on from the Count’s grisly death as they continue to try to piece their lives back together again.
But a ghostly visit from the past informs Jonathan Harker that the legacy of Count Dracula isn’t over, for there was one last bride, the Countess Von Gratz, otherwise known as the Countess Dracule, a Vampire never seen in the classic novel – and she intends to travel to London to reap revenge on the people who killed her late husband, as well as take for her own nefarious means the unborn child of Mina and Jonathan Harker.
And so a new chapter begins, as the surviving heroes from Dracula, Mina and Jonathan Harker, John Seward, Arthur Holmwood and Abraham Van Helsing band together to stop the Countess Dracule, her Gypsy servants, her recently arisen, un-dead assistant Renfield and her three ‘Grooms of Dracule’, Vampire lords who follow her every command. During this battle Abraham Van Helsing will face his own nightmares including the death of his son to Vampires, and John Seward will gain new ones in the bottom of a pharmaceutical bottle – but none will be as terrible as Mina’s nightmare – for Count Dracula still lives, an ethereal spirit, bound to her by blood and only seen by her as he waits for her son to be born – a son who’s blood is tainted with his own, a host body for his spirit…
Can Jonathan Harker truly kill the spectre of Dracula forever? And where will he be led in a story that visits a variety of locations from the original novel, including London, Exeter, Whitby, Munich and the Borgo Pass?
Written by Tony Lee (Doctor Who, Spider Man, Outlaw: The Legend Of Robin Hood) and drawn by the art partnership of Peter-Davis Douglas and Neil Antwerpen (Starship Troopers), this is the first original graphic novel sequel to gain any sort of endorsement by a member of the Stoker family, as Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt, the writers of Dracula: The Undead have agreed to write one of the two introductions to the story, the other to be written by noted Dracula and Sherlock Holmes historian Leslie S. Klinger, author of The New Annotated Dracula.
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