The release of Dracula the Unconquered #1 on Halloween is still a few weeks away, but if you can’t wait for more information about the comic, don’t worry! Today, two interviews have gone up with new information about the series!
First up, Threat Quality Press talks to Chris about his inspiration for the series and where he hopes to go with it:
Dracula is obviously a pretty compelling character — he’s one of the most adapted fictional characters in the English language — but what was it in particular that drew you to him?
Believe it or not, the biggest inspiration for Dracula the Unconquered was Uncle Scrooge. I was reading through a collection of Carl Barks Scrooge stories, and I was thinking about how amazing they were because he’s such an adaptable character. The only thing you need for a Scrooge McDuck story to happen is that there has to be something valuable somewhere — it can be anything, real or fictional, anywhere, and you have the ready-made plot device to send Scrooge and Donald and the nephews after it. He works in any story as long as that’s the core of it, and I love characters like that. It’s one of the reasons I love Batman, because he has that world-traveling history so that anywhere there’s a crime, he can go fight it.
So I was thinking about other characters that had that element to them, and what came to me was Dracula. It’s exactly like you said, he’s been adapted so much that in pop culture, he’s completely gone beyond that original idea. There are stories of Dracula in America, Dracula in the future, there were two comics about Dracula on the moon that came out more or less at the same time! Even in that original story, he’s a world traveler who ditches Transylvania because the population is too wise to his tricks, so he goes to England to try it on the “modern” society that doesn’t have those superstitions that keep him at bay. I feel like he’s a character you can do anything with, and because so much has been done, it’s all equally valid.
So for my take, I really wanted to do something I haven’t seen that often: Dracula as anadventure hero. The high concept is Indiana Jones starring Dracula, traveling around the world, battling bad guys, gathering up magic and artifacts that he can use against his rivals. He’s definitely a good guy — I wanted to do a Dracula you’d like, that you could root for — but he’s also a guy with a very dark past. He recounts a bit of what he did in the first issue, and, well, he’s a vampire, and you don’t get to be the Lord of the Undead without doing a lot of awful things. But that’s an aspect that I find appealing, too.
Second, Me and You and a Blog Named Boooooooooo keeps its Halloween theme going by talking to Chris about Dracula and his new assistant, Thalia:
Brian: What can we expect from Dracula’s assistant Thalia? From the looks of her on the cover image with her sly grin, she seems to have a few tricks of her own up her sleeve.
Chris: Thalia has her origins in me feeling like I needed a viewpoint character. I love Dracula as a character, but he’s also an immortal sorcerer who used to be King of the Vampires, so if you’re following him as a protagonist, that can be pretty hard to relate to. At the same time, I didn’t want her to be just a prop to have thing explained to her, which is exactly what I was parodying with Minxy in Solomon Stone.
Mark Waid writes a comic called Ruse that I love, it’s a big Sherlock Holmes-style Victorian mystery series, and the detective’s assistant, Emma Bishop, is such a great character. She comes off as smart even when she’s next to this super-genius, she’s really quippy and active in the story. She’s great, and since there was a Ruse mini-series coming out while I wrote the first two issues of Drac, I really studied it and tried to reverse engineer how he made this lady sidekick so compelling in her own right.
Find out more information on the series in the interviews, and stay tuned right here for more as we get closer to the first issue!