Sunday, October 31, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Illustrated Dracula

I love Halloween. I love comics. I love Dracula. Here are my favorite comic adaptations of Bram Stoker's story. There have been many graphic novelizations of Dracula and I am working on collecting them all. There was one in particular that I read when I was much younger, but I have not been able to locate it. I barely recall the actual art inside, but I do remember it was a purple digest-sized hardcover (I also had green-colored hardcover of Treasure Island by the same publishing company). If anyone reading this has any information of this edition which must have been released in the late 1970's, I'd be grateful to learn more regarding it and any recommendations for other versions.

The Complete Dracula
(Dynamite Entertainment)

This is the most recent of my collection, written by Leah Moore and John Mark Reppion with art by Colton Worely. It was released in hardcover earlier this year and I have been saving it to read this weekend. I absolutely love the John Cassaday covers that are included in this volume.

Bram Stoker's Dracula Movie Adaptation
(Topps Comics)

I make no apologies for not liking the Francis Ford Coppola film overall. I do think it had its moments, but took too many liberties with the original story to warrant placing the author's name in the title. However, one of the best ideas the short-lived Topps Comics company did was to produce this "graphic album" written by Roy Thomas with art by Mike Mignola. IMHO, it is much better than the film itself and I do not think I can say that about any other comic adaptation.

(Catalan Communications)

At a convention earlier this year, I discovered this reprint of the adaptation artist Fernando Fernandez created for the Spanish edition of Creepy in the 1980's. The painted artwork is absolutely breathtaking! I was very sad to learn that we Fernandez passed away a couple of months ago. I will be sure to seek out more of his work and am particularly interested in his Vampirella stories. While I was gazing at the stunning images he created for the this adaptation, I could very easily see his style applied to Vampi.

Stoker's Dracula
(Marvel Comics)

In the 1970's, Marvel Comics had great success creating new Dracula stories and it was only right that at some point they craft an origin story. Writer Roy Thomas and artist Dick Giordano took up the challenge of serializing the adaptation in Dracula Lives! magazine. Only the series was cancelled before they could finish the job. Thirty years later, Marvel asked if they could finally complete the last hundred or so pages. And I am so glad they did! This is one of the most comprehensively written versions I have ever come across and the art is equally fantastic. I understand Marvel is releasing this now in color and I have mixed feelings about that as Giordano's black and white work gives this a romantic-era feel, but I'll reserve final judgement once I see the new edition for myself. It is a true credit to Thomas that he pens both this and the Coppola adaption and stays true to the source material for each.

Dracula: A Symphony In Moonlight & Nightmares

Out of all the adaptations on this list, this on by artist Jon J. Muth, takes the most liberties with the original text. But it is also one of the most hauntingly beautiful stories I've ever read. It is not a literal graphic translation of Stoker's story, but it captures the tone and mood. The art featured on each page is worthy of hanging in a gallery. It is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time and I long for Muth to return to comics (he is currently illustrating children's books).

Dracula: The Definitive Edition
(Barnes & Noble Edition)

Though it is not a graphic novel, I wanted to make mention of this 100th-anniversary edition of the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker featuring illustrations by Edward Gorey. The hardcover was available exclusively through Barnes & Noble, but I have seen it in the bargain section recently and I encourage any one who does not have this in his/her library to pick it up. As much I love reading adaptations, there is no substitute for the original story.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - ESO Podcast #31

On this weeks show we will be reviewing the Doctor Who story “The Talons of Weng-Chiang featuring the 4th Doctor and Leela, then to help celebrate the season we will be gathering up our friends Bobby and Kat and have a roundtable discussion to talk about movies that really scared us.

Join us for another fun filled podcast that we like to call Episode 31 – Hey, Do You Want To See Something Really Scary?!?

Table of Contents
0:00:00 Intro / Welcome
0:01:59 ESO Rants and Raves – The Walking Dead Coming To TV/ Sherlock / Bobby goes to Xcon in Myrtle Beach
0:21:17 Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang
0:42:26 Movies That Really Scared Us
1:48:56 Show Close
Listen to ESO #31 here, or download this podcast from iTunes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Friday Night Videos - Creepy CBTs

Countdown to Halloween - Monster Mike's Mini Marathon Movie #4

Ok. For this year's Halloween marathon thus far, I got a Roger Corman/Edgar Allen Poe flick, a Dracula film, and a Hammer Frankenstein movie. What else could make for a fine evening of classic horror? How about a British alien invasion film for my fourth and final flick! I have actually seen the 1962 version of The Day of the Triffids, but it was so long ago, I would like to view it again. Especially since it was announced that Sam Raimi recently acquired the rights to produce and direct a new version. The original novel by John Wyndham is one of my faves and I will probably re-read that before the new film is released as well.

(click on poster to view trailer)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Monster Mike's Mini Marathon Movie #3

One of the films I selected for last year's Halloween marathon was the first Hammer film featuring Dracula. This year, it seemed appropriate to view the studio's first foray of the other most widely recognized horror character in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and one of Hammer's head girls, Hazel Court.

(click on poster to view trailer)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Halloween Shuffle '10

Ten randomly selected tracks from my Halloween-themed party playlist!

Voltaire "Goodnight Demon Slayer"

Voltaire is no stranger to anyone who has ever been to Dragon*Con. For those who haven't, he is strange indeed! His goth filk is always a con pleaser and I have no doubt he's got a gig for this weekend!

Godsmack "The Awakening"

The heavy metal rockers from my home state have a few tracks on my "Boo!" playlist. This one in particular because it is the same title as a mummy movie from the '80's and on a related note this band had a song featured in The Scorpion King, which was a spin-off of the The Mummy movies a few years ago.

Narcotic Syntax "Ping Pong Voodoo"

Some day, I want to have a Halloween Tiki Party! And this cd (along with volume 2) will be playing all night long!

Jimi Hendrix "Voodoo Child"

Ok. Second song in a row to feature the word "voodoo" in the title. Sometimes iTunes shuffle creeps me out. Almost enough to make me not appreciate the awesome guitar work on this live track!

Marc Shaiman "Mamoshka"

I thought The Addams Family movie was ok, but I am too big a fan of the series to really give the big screen cast a chance. However, the soundtrack is a lot like a staged musical.

Christophe Beck "Suite from 'Hush'"

In addition to the all the numbers from the musical episode, this cd also features the score from one of my favorite tv episodes of all time.

Blue Oyster Cult "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"

BOC does a great cover of this classic track by Eric Burden and the Animals. It is often associated with Vietnam, but I think could very easily apply to a haunted house as well.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Deja Voodoo"

Another "voodoo" track. Wonder if I accidently accessed Geoffrey Holder's playlist!

Jerry Goldsmith "Overture and End Credits"

This track from the Gremlins score begins with the theme from The Twilight Zone, so it is two spooky tunes in one!

Drowning Pool "Bodies"

Finally, we end this on this rather upbeat note. "Let the bodies hit the floor! Let the bodies hit the floor! Let the bodies hit the floor!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Golden Age Images

Once again, I would like to promote all the participating blogs in this year's Countdown to Halloween. We are at the home stretch and I hope my fellow bloggers have had as much fun as I have posting! Please check as many out as you possible can. And when you are done, there is one of my personal favorite blogs that is not an official participant, but nevertheless has some very cool and creepy content - Golden Age Comic Book Stories. Not only will you find classic comic book artwork, such as today's collection of Haunt of Fear covers, but you will also see rare images posted in such magazines as Bizarre, featuring classic horror icons Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff together!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - ESO Podcast #30

Need some costuming advice for Halloween? Listen up!
This week on ESO, join Mike and Mike as they will be talking a peek at Convention Costuming or Cosplay as it’s known in some circles. To help us discuss this topic we will have special guests Riddle and photographer Bryan Humphrey sitting in with us. Also this week we continue with our new crew rant section we like to call “ESO Rants and Raves”.

Join us for another fun filled podcast that we like to call Episode 30 – Gee, I Didn’t Recognize You Under All of That Latex

Table of Contents
0:00:00 Intro / Welcome
0:01:44 ESO Rants and Raves – Halloween Comics / Death of a Comic Collector / Doctor Who Regeneration / Superman Walking the Earth
0:21:04 Convention Costuming w/ Guests Riddle and Bryan Humphrey
1:33:43 Show Close
Listen to ESO #30 here, or download this podcast from iTunes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Cover Rave - Demon #22

If it is creepy comic book cover art you crave,
Then may I present one that is a fave,
By an artist I very much admire,
And of a character who can breathe hellfire.

Demon #22
Artist: Matt Wagner

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Countdown to Halloween - Atari's Haunted House

I am proud to say that I grew up in the "Age of Atari!" It never ceases to amaze me how much progress has been made in video game graphics in my lifetime. Haunted House was pretty state-of-the-art at the time, but now it just looks kinda sad. Though I always did like the fact that all you ever saw of the main character was a pair of eyes. Nevertheless, if I had my Atari 2600 here, I have no doubt I would slap that cartridge in and play until the joystick made my wrist too sore to continue, which these days would not take long!