Saturday, March 03, 2012

Verdilak – review

Story & Script: Bo Hampton & Mark Kneece

Art: Bo Hampton

First published: 1996

Contains spoilers

Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of the short story from 1843 by Count Alexis Tolstoy, “the Family of the Vourdalak”. It was thus inevitable when friend of the blog Halek drew my attention to this graphic novel that I would have to get it.

art in detail
The graphic is indeed based upon the short and also on Mario Bava’s imagining of the tale in the segment the Wurdalak from the film Black Sabbath. Indeed the book is dedicated to Bava but this novel forges its own path, as well as using its own variant of the word vourdalak. The story has recognisable aspects from the original story and from Bava; the art work owes much to the look of Black Sabbath.

Hampton and Kneece expand the story with interesting back story, change characters and actually answer one point that is glossed over in the original and the film – how did Gorka become infected with vampirism, having hunted down the bandit vampire, if vampires only feed on those they love. I have always assumed accidental infection or infection whilst the vampire defended itself. In this the mystery is solved in ways you might not expect.

One part I really liked was the burial of a young boy killed by a vampire. Because the mother wouldn’t allow the corpse to be desecrated, stakes were placed in the earth of the grave so it would impale itself as it rose from the grave. Of course, what is the chance that one of these stakes would pierce his heart?

Absolutely beautiful to look at and a must have graphic novel for the vampire fan. 8.5 out of 10.


RoseOfTransylvania said...

I too am fan of the original story as well as the movie and the vampire folklore, so this sounds good!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Rose, it is very good