Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Son Of The "I am Dracula - Enter freely..." Post (updated 9.13.20)

 Here I am again (after a 2 1/2 year absence from my blog - in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic - yeesh) with another update to my Dracula art posts (you'd think I'd get tired of drawing this dude...yeah,right...;o) 

I'll be editing text here and there,plus adding some art I've done since last we met...

 I have always loved the character of Count Dracula-in books,movies,toys,etc.-so needless to say,as an aspiring artist I've been drawing this guy since i could first draw. I thought it would be fun to showcase all the various versions of Dracula I've drawn since the early '70s (or thereabouts)

So here's some of the many Counts that have emerged from my humble pencil/pens in the last 40 plus years!

1st we have a commission which featured the major Universal Studios versions: Lugosi, Chaney Jr., Carradine and Langella (i was asked to do it in pencil for the fella to ink himself-i hope to do an inked version soon myself):




The next is the very 1st art I ever had published- It was 1976 and I sent in a "fan drawing" to a horror film fanzine called CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT- they put it in their 3rd issue-I was in heaven-i also sent in artwork to several other zines and fan club newsletters (mainly for Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing's clubs) a humble beginning but an important one to me...



Next we have a true rarity-a painting (I did maybe 2 or 3 paintings like this in my lifetime-not counting a couple murals) of Christopher Lee as the Stoker's novel describes the Count-well,at least the mustache is from Stoker anyway...

 Then another film related piece, DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE-this was of Paul Naschy, better known as the werewolf star of a series of Spanish horror classics (the art was in the fanzine VIDEOOZE, published by another good friend, Bob Sargent):




The cover for independent comic company Malibu's adaptation of the novel- I didn't get to do the interiors tho i begged them to - lol - it's based on the story's artist's visual design of the character...





I am a huge fan of Marvel's TOMB OF DRACULA series with Gene Colan doing the art chores-classic storytelling at it's best-and when i found some copies of his pencils of the Count i took it upon myself to do an inkwash from it-this is the result-I felt I captured his ethereal style rather well...I dared show it to Mr Colan at a con and surprisingly,he liked it (and didn't then ignore me the rest of the show) ...he humbly brags...




And here's another take on the Marvel Drac- A fan gets artists to do "minute later" drawings-usually what happens right after a scene on a cover-in this case a TOMB OF DRACULA cover costarring the WEREWOLF BY NIGHT:




Now this next batch of Counts are all the many variations I've come up with thru the years for single illos or stories I've done both before and after becoming a pro - usually based on the novel or inspired by the films.

This is an early try at doing Stoker's version - mainly done with marker,I think...




this was a "promo" i did for one of MANY stories i drew in the old amateur days-i drew lots of comic stories back then-usually monster rallies (i got to do a real comic book years later that brought me full circle: THE BLACK FOREST) starring all my favorites (this piece also showed Van Helsing,a werewolf and a mummy) ,but ALWAYS featuring Dracula (and odds are no one will get to see those embarrassing ancient attempts at storytelling,educational as they were to my development)





My 1st story ever published was in Comico Comics' new talent showcase, PRIMER- Soon after I plotted a short tale (sort of a sequel to the novel) that would begin a proposed series in Primer that was basically a variation on my pre-pro days' work (and my own design of Drac stayed the same) -I drew it and GRENDAL creator Matt Wagner did the dialog and inks.

To show you how "clever" i was the title of the story was AND ETERNITY SHALL BECKON...

...if the laughter has died down we can continue...

Ultimately (thankfully) the story never saw print - until recently,when American Mythology allowed me the chance to upgrade the art and story (re-written from scratch by Jack Herman) in the 1st ish of Dark Tales From The Vokesverse - It was very gratifying to finally see it in print - the story also gained an additional character in the new take: Eagle! We managed to tie it into our Eagle Universe (and he didn't even exist when we 1st did the story for Comico - lol) You can see some of the original version,followed by the new below...






The next place my version of Drac appeared was in a series called BLOOD OF DRACULA-this was a series i began with writers Mark Wheatley and Ricky Shanklin- i pencilled the 1st 6 issues with Mark's inks-i then laid out the next 6 with a young up and coming artist on finishes: Adam Hughes.

The greatest treat for me was that i got to design the Count-and yes i used the version i had been using for the last few years in my own amateur stories- it wasn't credited to me until many issues later when i put up a stink about it- hey,after all those crappy comics i drew- mainly for my own amusement- I wanted the world to know i did this- lol

This is also the only cover i did for the series-actually i penciled it and Peter Hsu did a painting based on the pencils:






Then there was FRIGHT NIGHT!

I was asked by Now Comics to do SPEED RACER- mainly because of my time on ROBOTECH a few years before-which i really had no interest in drawing- i finally agreed to do one issue if they would allow me to do the new FRIGHT NIGHT comic,based on the film-a favorite of mine-it turned out to be a mixed blessing for many reasons but at least i got it outta my system.

A few issues before i quit the book (for those aforementioned reasons) i was able to convince the powers that be to let me do a Dracula story-instead of using the actual Count we composed a tale (i actually got a co-plotted by credit for the 1st time- not always granted in this biz,I'm sad to say) about an actor well known for playing the role on screen, Boris Christopher (whom i based on Christopher Lee the way they based Fright Night host Peter Vincent on Peter Cushing)

The twist would be that he gets attacked by Evil Ed and becomes ,in effect,Count Dracula-at least in his delusional,recently vampirized mind anyway-it was a fun story and my virtual swan song to a series i had high hopes for.

So allow me to add this version of Dracula to my LONG list:


 

I recently did an updated version of some of the art in this ish for a good friend of mine...


The 1st time I worked with writer Kurt Busiek was supposed to be for a VAMPIRELLA comic -
I was asked to follow the original Vampi artist Jose Gonzalez' Drac for the book- this here is a layout page from the series- as far as i got before being dumped (well,actually after laying out several pages and having a two page spread inked) 

...Ah well...




This is the cover to one of my three X rated Draculas...yup...X rated- hey, I'm all for a little naughty fun on the comics page- this actually only used Drac in a cameo role- the "star" character was a rather nude young vamp who was modeled on Spanish Eurotrash star Lina Romay...





...this next one was an adaptation of the novel, but with more naughtiness added- I only got to do the opening chapter of the series, tho- sad to say- because I thought- even given the erotic take on the novel- I did some of my best artwork for this- below is a direct scene from the novel (before the naughty began)...



 


 There was a third comic i did starring Dracula but it was a story about how he became a vampire-basically an X rated version of Vlad Tepes before the fangs- it was called DRACULA IN HELL and I'd rather not share the art here- it was a touch extreme even for me...;o)

This is yet another redesign of him for another series i was going to do with my characters from the old Primer comic story-it never got beyond this one piece:




Here's another variation done for a commission:





Here is the character of Graf Orlok from my BLACK FOREST book- I included him because he was, at least originally in the silent film NOSFERATU,Dracula- but under another name...





Another take on the Count for a "chapbook" cover, which to date hasn't appeared-but I like the piece and felt it needed to be seen:





 A more recent design-not used- for a comic i was going to do with Bob called ONLY AT NIGHT-we didn't do it-it's a long story I'll tell someday (and who knows,i may still get around to drawing it) Bob suggested using Jeremy Irons as a model for Drac...

 


 

Another attempt at a comic starring my favorite vamp was going to be a dual feature with BARON FRANKENSTEIN, done by Bob and Adrian Salmon- the conceit was that it was a comic "adaptation" of two of fictional director Terry Sharp's most famous classic films (he of course was created by Bob and Ade for their book TERRY SHARP-he was a horror film director by day and an adventurer by night-great book-look for it) - we never did our dual book,sadly...





That brings us closer to the present day (well within the last 6 years or so) FLESH & BLOOD,as many of you already know is based on the wonderful Hammer Films movies Bob and I love- we took their approach to the classic horror monsters and built our own story from there- Their classic films are our inspiration,more than actual source material- I'm hoping to finish the 4th ish...someday...






Recently,old friend David Zuzelo and I had the pleasure of working on a back up story for our buddies who create the Living Corpse comic series - in a special issue we came up with a Dracula vs The Living Corpse story - it was great fun...





  And how about the numerous illos I've done for my buddy Richard Klemensen's mag Little Shoppe Of Horrors?

(I'm working on a new back cover featuring DracuLee for the next issue) 

...but 1st,the illos:
















Then there's a cover image from a young readers novel which features Dracula battling a vampire shark...yup...I said vampire shark...;o)


                                                               


And of course there are the many commissions I've done featuring the Count...

                                                         







            










 

                                                                     DRACULA

An obsession of mine that has produced some very cool work (and some not so cool,i guess) thru the last 40 plus years...

...and I'll probably be drawing him many more times...assuming i can still hold a pencil...;o)


That's All,Vokes!