Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Dracula: A Symphony in Moonlight & Nightmares – review

Author and Art: Jon J Muth

Release date: 1986

Contains spoilers

This is a hard one to pin. Not exactly a graphic novel, it has prose and paintings alongside each other. It is, of course, based on Stoker’s Dracula - very vaguely.

It begins on the Demeter and the opening seems that it might, perhaps, be based on the 1979 Dracula. Indeed it swaps the roles of Mina and Lucy as that film did. Lucy is the daughter of Dr Seward but he seems to be a general practitioner rather than a doctor in charge of an asylum.

Harker is there, almost as an afterthought or a character to bounce dialogue off. Renfield, however, is a man with a wife, a wife abandoned for his work for the Count despite the fact that Seward has just helped deliver her child. The story is curtailed and the ending perhaps owes a touch to Nosferatu though it has its own special twist.

Yet as curtailed as it might be there is a poetical, almost lyrical quality to the prose. An atmosphere matched with quotes from Poe, Ovid and Baudelaire. I was impressed with Mina’s decent into hysteria as well as vampirism. However it is not the prose that is important.

There is a reason to own this volume – and own it you should – and it is, very simply, the artwork. The book is filled with magnificent watercolours that lift the atmosphere of the prose into the stratosphere. Beautifully gothic I have placed some samples with this review. A necessary volume for fans of the original novel. 8 out of 10.

2 comments:

What this Blog is about said...

If your into Mina's backstory i just finished a book called sonofthedragon which touches on her interactions with dracula a lot. I think you can get a good synopsis here http://sonofthedragonnovel.weebly.com

Taliesin_ttlg said...

many thanks, I'll definitely check it out