Saturday, December 03, 2011

Bram Stoker’s Death Ship – review

Author: Gary Gerani

Art: Stuart Sayger

Release date: 2010

Contains spoilers

There has been a promise of a film, The Last Voyage of the Demeter, for some time now and it never seems to emerge. Whether a film based on just one segment of Dracula would work remained to be seen – after all we know how it ends (the crew die, the Captain is lashed to the wheel and the ship wrecks at Whitby) and it sounds essentially like a 10 little Indians-esque story, on board ship with a vampire.

Thanks to IDW we can imagine what the film might be like as they have developed the comic book of the concept and this is a review of the trade paperback. And… it is essentially 10 little Indians-esque story, on board ship with a vampire, adding in a little Event Horizon-esque aspect as the vampire – Dracula of course – manipulates the minds of victims and either entices them with their desires or terrifies them with their fears.

It is through this aspect that the story was expanded further, to what was essentially 4 comics worth. As well as this, the barely described crew members from Stoker’s novel are – in some cases – expanded on but they are pretty much stereotypes – the evil first mate, the good captain, the innocent cabin boy etc. There are liberties taken with the Stoker story (the number of boxes is reduced and Carfax has transported - as often happens - to Whitby.) What makes the book for me, more than anything, was the beautiful artwork provided by Sayger.

This was an interesting foray into a story that is meant to be being filmed. Whether that one section of story stands alone is questionable, given that it is only a short passage from the original novel and a film - if ever forthcoming - will really have to explore character (and make them rounded) to stand scrutiny, methinks. Nevertheless, I did rather enjoy the graphic novel. 6.5 out of 10.


RoseOfTransylvania said...

This sounds... really quite nice.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I think you'd quite like this, Rose