Crowdfunding Spotlight: Dracula – The Return

Dracula author Bram Stoker’s Great Grand Nephew, Dacre Stoker, has written a completely new story about the legendary vampire, delivering an official continuation of the classic horror novel in comic book form.

Main cover for Dracula Returns by Shane Oakley

To be published by fledgling British comic publisher Scratch Comics, Dacre, custodian of the Stoker legacy, has teamed up with comics and games writer Dr Chris McAuley and artists Chris Geary and Matthew John Soffe for Dracula The Return – Cult Of The White Worm.

The 48-page story reveals what happened directly after the end of the original novel, and is being planned as the first of a four-issue comic series.

Dracula The Return - Variant Cover by Ben Stenbeck
Variant cover by Ben Stenbeck

We are shown how Dracula survived his apparent demise and the world that the famous vampire inhabits is expanded on, using original notes from Bram Stoker, combined with the imagination of his descendent, Dacre Stoker, and his creative partners in the new comic.

Three variant cover options are available by noted comics artists Shane Oakley (Albion), Mike Collins (X-Men, Doctor Who), and Ben Stenbeck (Hellboy, BPRD).

Dracula The Return - Variant Cover by Mike Collins
Variant Cover by Mike Collins
  • Dracula The Return - Sample Art 1
  • Dracula The Return - Sample Art 2
  • Dracula The Return - Sample Art 3
  • Dracula The Return - Sample Art 4
  • Dracula The Return - Sample Art 5
  • Dracula The Return - Sample Art 6

Dracula The Return – Cult Of The White Worm will also include back up strips by Buffy The Vampire Slayer writer Denise Ciencin and Eagle Award-winning artist David Hitchcock.

Art for an extra strip for Dracula The Return, by David Hitchcock
Art for an extra strip for Dracula The Return, by David Hitchcock
Dracula The Return - promotional art by Si Chinook
Promotional art by Si Chinook

Scratch Comics was created by veteran indie comics publisher, Shane Chebsey, earlier this year, aiming to publish high quality comics and graphic novels by both established and emerging comic creators.

Few fictional characters have permeated the pop culture landscape quite as much as Bram Stoker’s iconic immortal Prince of Darkness. Since the classic novel was first published 125 years ago, it has not only been adapted into numerous plays, audio dramas, movies, comics, TV shows and games, but the instantly recognisable king of the vampires has been the subject of academic study, and appeared on merchandise as wide ranging as clothing, lunchboxes and every imaginable manner of paraphernalia.

Notable movie versions include memorable performances by such notable actors as Christopher Lee (certainly the most revered by fans and scholars alike) Gary Oldman, and very recently, in 2020, Claes Bang, on the BBC and Netflix series.

Christopher Lee as Dracula
Christopher Lee as Dracula

Dracula has also, of course, frequented the comic book world, with the incredibly popular Marvel title Tomb Of Dracula shaping a whole generation of perceptions of the character, on both sides of the Atlantic. In January 1973, Marvel introduced vampire hunter, Blade, within the pages of that comic, whose third movie featured yet another version of Dracula, played by Dominic Purcell, in 2004.

The cover of Marvel UK's Dracula Lives Issue 24 is inspired by Frank Brunner's cover for Tomb of Dracula #12
The cover of Marvel UK’s Dracula Lives Issue 24 is inspired by Frank Brunner’s cover for Tomb of Dracula #12

The infamous Count even appeared in an episode of the classic animated series Spider-man And His Amazing Friends back in the early 1980s – and who could every forget the infamous “Count” from Sesame Street?

Now, in 2022, for the first time in history, a member of the Stoker family has taken pen to paper to write an official comic book continuation of his famous relative’s classic novel, but in the form of a brand new comic book series from Scratch Comics.

“My Great grand Uncle was a keen artist as well as a writer, and I feel that if he were alive today he would love comics and graphic novels and the visual elements they bring to storytelling,” says Dacre Stoker.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to team up with Chris and Shane, and the rest of the Scratch Comics team, to tell this tale,” he continued, “and I am incredibly excited to be revealing so many lost elements of the original novel through our new story as we continue the legacy of Dracula, in the way in which I feel Bram would have intended”

The new book is being crowdfunded and the campaign to launch it not only includes copies of the book in both digital and physical formats, but also a wide range of additional bonus rewards and add on items that fans can pledge for over the next two weeks.

These include online lectures about Bram Stoker by his great grand nephew and about “real life” vampires by Professor Laurence Alison MBE of Liverpool University.

• You can pre-order your copy of Dracula The Return – Cult Of The White Worm now or find out more via the Kickstarter campaign here

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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