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Dracula is a 2010 graphic novel adapted from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel by comic book writer Roy Thomas and comic book illustrator Dick Giordano. Famous for their work with Marvel Comics and DC Comics respectively, the two concieved of the idea in 1974 as part of the comic series Dracula Lives!. Due to the series' cancellation in 1975 and other industry difficulties, the adaptation was sidelined. However in 2004, Marvel editor Mark Beazley invited Thomas and Giordano to complete the project. In 2005, it was finished after 30 years in the making. Roy Thomas writes in the preface "it's for readers to judge whether Dick and I have succeeded in what was always our ambition: to draw and script the most faithful adaptation ever done, in any medium, of Bram Stoker's Dracula."
Jonathan Harker, an English real estate agent, arrives via train in Eastern Europe to visit a client named Count Dracula at his castle. He is warned by the villagers in a town called Bistritz that the passage to the castle is dangerous, especially on the Eve of St. George's Day , when devils are supposedly given free reign of the earth. On this night, Harker rides a carriage through Transylvania and the notorious Borgo Pass, where he is picked up by one of Dracula's servants as his driver. This driver behaves oddly, steering the carriage in circles, getting out to attend a mysterious blue flame in the woods, and speaking to a pack of wolves as if he is their master. When they arrive at Dracula's castle, the driver disappears, and Count Dracula welcomes Harker through his front door.
Chapter II - "Into the Spider's Web"
Dracula shows Harker to his room, where Harker takes out a map to show the Count the estate that he has arranged for him in London. Count Dracula tells Harker of his family history and genealogy, which he dates back to Attila the Hun . Dracula leaves in the early morning, when the sun begins shining through a window, and encourages Harker to explore the castle. Harker discovers that the Count has locked all the doors, and that he is effectively a prisoner. The next night, while shaving, Haker perceives that the Count has no reflection in the mirror and has hair on his palms. Dracula asks Harker to write home to inform his boss and whomever he pleases that he will be staying for a month. Harker is incredulous and disturbed by this forceful hospitality. Before leaving Harker to write his letters, Dracula also encourages him to continue exploring the castle, although he instructs him not to fall asleep in any of its rooms except the one he has shown him. Later that night, Harker witnesses Dracula climbing out of a window and crawling down the castle wall head-first, "lizard like."
Chapter III - "The Female of the Species"
Harker forces his way into a room he has not yet visited and falls asleep on its couch in spite of Dracula's warning. Three female vampires approach him while he feigns sleep and listens to them speak of their wish to "kiss" him. Harker too wishes they would kiss him, for they are very beautiful, and when one approaches to do so he does not stir, even as he feels her teeth on his throat. Count Dracula appears behind her, grabs her by the throat, and hurls her away. Harker lies as if he is still asleep. Dracula lectures the women on when they can "have" Harker, and when they object, he gives them a bag with something moving in it. Harker fears that it is a "half-smothered child" and falls unconscious. He wakes up back in the room Dracula has shown him, and fearing for his life, writes the letters Dracula asked of him. The next day he attempts to give them to a band of gypsies encamped outside the castle, but these gypsies give the letters to Dracula, because they work for him. Dracula confronts Harker about the letters and burns the one addressed to Harker's fiance, Mina Murray. Dracula then tells Harker that he is tired, and as if by magic, Harker instantly become sleepy and barely makes it back to his room before collapsing with exhaustion.
Chapter IV - " 'And in That Sleep...!' "
Harker awakes in a cold sweat and discovers that his clothes and stationary have been stolen and the door to his room locked. Harker notices the band of gypsies have returned outside his window and they are carrying large wooden boxes into the castle. Dracula informs Harker that it will soon be time to leave the castle. When Harker asks to leave that night, Dracua opens the door for him to leave. Outside, Harker is greeted by snarling wolves. Harker shouts to close the door and Dracula slams it shut, smiling malignantly at Harker, who retreats to his room. Later that night, Harker sees the Count crawling down the castle walls wearing Harker's clothes, presumably to stage his disappearance. A townswoman approaches the castle and begs for her child back. She is chased away and eaten by wolves. At daylight, Harker opens the door to see the three female vampires outside his door, telling him they will come to him tomorrow. He slams the door and resolves to exit the window of his room and climb down the castle walls. He climbs down into Dracula's room for the key to the entrance and sees a pile of ancient gold coins and jewelry in the corner. Harker exits the room and descends into the bowels of the castle where he finds Dracula sleeping in one of the wooden boxes the gypsies brought into the castle. Fresh blood is trickling from his mouth. Horrified, Harker smacks Dracula over the head with a shovel and retreats back to the Count's room. The gypsies arrive to take the wooden boxes occupied with Dracula and his vampires. Harker decides to try and descend the rest of the castle wall by hand. He signs off his journal "Goodbye all! Goodbye Mina--!"
Chapter V - "Ship of Death"
Mina Murray writes of her experience at the Westerna home, an estate in a seaport town called Whitby where she is visiting her friend, Lucy Westerna. Mina writes that Lucy has been sleepwalking. She also writes that Lucy is recently engaged to one Arthur Holmwood after having turned down proposals from two other men: Dr. John Seward who oversees "the lunatic asylum", and Qunicey Morris, an American from Texas. On a walk, Lucy and Mina encounter Mr. Swales, a deranged old sailor, who points out a faraway ship and warns that it will bring bad news. A newspaper clipping from "The Dailygraph" tells the ship's story, which is surmised from the captain's log found in the pocket of the dead captain. This log tells of how the captain's men mysteriously disappeared one-by-one until only the captain and one other mate were left, along with their cargo of large wooden boxes. After opening one of these boxes, the mate jumps ship, leaving the captain alone at the wheel. After seeing the monster that has been haunting the ship, the captain ties himself to the wheel with a crucifix. The newspaper clipping ends its account of the log by assuring its readers that nothing so "mysterious and sinister" could befall the residents of Whitby, while the final four panels of the comic zoom in forebodingly on a sleepwalking Lucy Westerna.
Chapter VI - "If Madness Be Thy Master...!"
Mina writes about the funeral of Mr. Swales, who was mysteriously found dead with his neck broken at a lookout point that is also a tomb. Mina later finds Lucy sleepwalking towards this tomb, where a dark figure leans over her body. Mina approaches quickly, wakes Lucy at the tomb, and walks with her back to the Westerna estate. The next day, Mina recieves a letter from a hospital in Eastern Europe detailing Jonathan Haker's condition. Before leaving to see him, she witnesses a bat sucking blood from Lucy's neck. Lucy makes her promise not to tell anyone of the occurrence, and Mina departs to see Jonathan. Dr. Seward, head of the local insane asylum, dictates his notes via phonograph . He speaks of the trouble he has had with a patient named Renfield, a "zoophagus" patient, who is infamous for having eaten a live bird after it ate a spider that ate a fly. Renfield mysteriously escapes the asylum and runs next door to Carfax Abbey, where he is found supplicating himself to an unseen master. Dr. Seward and his assistant catch Renfield and bring him back to the asylum. The last three panels zoom in on Dracula, who is hidden behind a wall in Carfax and brandishing his fangs as he watches as Dr. Seward and his assistant struggle with Renfield.
Chapter VII - "Death Be Thou Proud!"
Mina writes to inform Lucy that she and Jonathan Harker have been married at the hospital where she is visiting him. Meanwhile, back at Whitby, Dr. Seward has invited his teacher, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing from Amsterdam, to examine Lucy. Dr. Van Helsing asks Dr. Seward to send him a telegram every day to update him on Lucy's condition. Dr. Seward notes that Renfield is behaving strangely more subdued than usual. Lucy's condition deteriorates and Dr. Van Helsing is summoned back to Whitby. Van Helsing notes that she has lost much blood and orders an immediate transfusion from her fiance, Arthur Holmwood. After Lucy recovers slightly, Dr. Van Helsing departs for Amsterdam to "consult certain books." Dr. Seward keeps watch of Lucy at night and awakens the next day to see that she has lost more blood. Van Helsing returns in time to order another blood transfusion, this time from Dr. Seward. Van Helsing hangs garlic flowers around the window in Lucy's room and Lucy's neck. He tells her not to take them off or open up the window. Van Helsing returns to find out that Mrs. Westerna has opened the window to defumagate the smell of garlic flowers. Dr. Seward and Van Helsing rush to Lucy's room and discover her in her worst condition yet. The last panel ends with Van Helsing exclaiming "He has been here again!" and Dr. Seward shouting "Oh my God!!"
Chapter VIII - "Hour of the Wolf"
Dr. Seward dictates that Van Helsing has operated on Lucy and that she looks better. Lucy writes in her diary of bad dreams and the sound of something flapping against her window at night. A newspaper clipping from the Pall Mall Gazette reports on a wolf that escaped from the London zoo after a mysterious man (depicted as Dracula) came inquiring about it. Shortly afterward, the bars of its cage were found torn apart. Dr. Seward dictates that Renfield briefly escaped, slashed him with a knife, and licked up the blood "like a dog." Dr. Seward receives a telegram too late from Van Helsing, warning him to keep special watch over Lucy during the night. That night, Lucy writes in her diary about seeing a large bat flapping outside her window followed by a large grey wolf crashing through and literally scaring her mother to death. Dr. Seward writes in his diary about how he and Van Helsing discovered Lucy and her dead mother. Van Helsing gives Lucy one final blood transfusion from Quincey Morris, who is sent by Arthur Holmwood to check on Lucy. Dr. Seward notes how when Arthur Holmwood arrives to see Lucy, her teeth become longer and sharper. Van Helsing informs Arthur that Lucy is dying, and that "it will make much difference whether she dies conscious, or in her sleep." After making a move to attack Arthur, Lucy appears to fall unconscious and die in her sleep. Dr. Seward remarks how Lucy seems to be resting peacefully at the end of her life. Van Helsing exclaims "Not so, alas--not so! It is only the beginning!"
Chapter IX - "Tell Truth, And Shame the Devil"
Dr. Seward writes in his diary that Lucy still looks alive on her funeral bier. Van Helsing lays garlic flowers over her chest and a crucifix over her mouth. He asks Dr. Seward to bring knives so as to cut off her head and take out her heart. Mina Harker writes in her journal about her and Jonathan's encounter with Dracula in Picadilly Square. A newspaper clipping from The Westminster Gazette claims that another child was lured away by a "bloofer lady", which is the child's mispronunciation of the words "beautiful lady." Mina Haker writes of begging Van Helsing to help Jonathan by reading the journal he wrote while staying at Castle Dracula. She recieves a letter shortly after giving the journal to Van Helsing that reads "everything in your husband's story is true!" and signed Abraham Van Helsing. Dr. Seward writes in his diary of his and Van Helsing's investigation of the "bloofer lady" attacks, which Van Helsing surmises are committed by Lucy Westerna. Dr. Seward does not beleive this, and Van Helsing proposes to show him how it is possible by taking him to the Westerna tomb at night.
Chapter X - "For in That Sleep of Death..."
Van Helsing takes Dr. Seward to the Westerna tomb and opens Lucy's coffin to find it empty. Dr. Seward is not convinced and guesses a body snatcher might have stolen Lucy's corpse. Van Helsing proposes to show him more proof that Lucy is the "bloofer lady," and they wait around the graveyard until two in the morning, when Dr. Seward sees a white streak in the woods and Van Helsing finds an unconscious child nearby. With Dr. Seward still unconvinced, Van Helsing proposes they go back to the tomb the next day. The following afternoon, Dr. Seward and Van Helsing open the coffin again to find Lucy's body inside it. They inspect her teeth, which have gotten sharper. Van Helsing explains that Lucy was bitten by a vampire while sleepwalking, died under the vampire's spell, has become a vampire, and must be killed in her sleep. Still somewhat in disbelief, Dr. Seward writes of how Van Helsing persuades Arthur and his friend Quincey to visit Lucy's tomb at nightfall, where they open the coffin to find her gone again. They later witness her as a vampire carrying an unconscious child in her arms, which she hurls to the ground when she sees the men. Van Helsing brandishes a crucifix to usher her back into the tomb. After this scene, Dr. Seward, Arthur, and Quincey are convinced that Lucy is a vampire, and Arthur concedes to allow Van Helsing to proceed with the work of killing her.
Chapter XI - "If Blood Be the Price..."
At midnight, Dr. Seward, Arthur, and Quincey return to the Westerna tomb with Van Helsing. They observe Lucy sleeping in her coffin while Van Helsing instructs Arthur on how to drive a wooden stake into her chest. Placing the stake over her heart, Arthur drives it home with a mallet. Lucy's features assume a peacful look as the vampire's curse leaves her body. Van Helsing explains that she is no longer "the devil's un-dead. She is God's true dead, whose soul is with Him." Van Helsing and Dr. Seward saw off the top the stake, sever the head, and fill the mouth with garlic. Van Helsing calls the four to meet again to plan and kill Dracula. Dr. Seward meets with Mina Harker and Jonathan Harker, who tells that Dracula is resting in the large wooden boxes he once saw in Dracula's castle; 50 of which, according to a shipping invoice that Harker found in Whitby, were imported from Transylvania to Carfax Abbey. Because the Abbey neighbors Dr. Seward's insane asylum, Dr. Seward notifies Van Helsing immediately of Dracula's whereabouts, and the men plan to infiltrate the place that night. Leaving Mina behind, Van Helsing leads Jonathan, Arthur, Quincey, and Dr. Seward into Carfax wearing crucifixes. They discover only 29 of the boxes, but no Dracula, as the vampire is at that time infiltrating the Harker's home and biting Mina. Meanwhile, Jonathan tracks down the location of the rest of the boxes from a man at the London shipyard, who tells Harker that he delivered them to a house in Picadilly. The final panel shows Jonathan scouting the location of the house in Picadilly.
Chapter XII - "For the Blood is the Life!"
When Jonathan returns home to tell the whereabouts of Dracula's boxes in Picadilly, he notices that Mina looks paler than usual. Dr. Seward dictates that Renfield is behaving more strangely each day and surmises that Dracula must have something to do with it. Renfield is found on the floor of his cell in a pool of blood, and Dr. Seward, Quincey, Arthur, and Van Helsing listen as Renfield recounts how Dracula came to him in his cell with Mina Harker, who appeared devoid of blood. Renfield attacked Dracula with the intent to help Mina, and the vampire hurled him to the ground. Renfield dies after this account, and the vampire hunters run to the Harkers' room where they find Mina in Dracula's arms and Jonathan unconscious. Van Helsing and the rest of the men ward off Dracula with communion wafers and crucifixes, but Dracula disappears by summoning a black cloud to conceal himself in darkness and transform into mist. The vampire hunters rouse Jonathan and Mina, who complains that she is now "unlcean." Van Helsing asks them to tell everything they can remember. Jonathan only remembers seeing a large bat rise from Renfield's window and then blackness. Mina remembers a mist entering their window and being bitten by Dracula, who also forced her to drink blood from his chest. Mina prays for mercy as Jonathan consoles her. The sun rises through the window in the chapter's last panel, as the vampire hunters, Quincey, Dr. Seward, Arthur, and Van Helsing are shown deep in conversation over the night's events.
Chapter XIII - "The Demon in His Lair"
Jonathan Harker writes about how he and the vampire hunters must conceal the true nature of Renfield's death, because no one would believe that a vampire has killed him. Mina expresses despair at signs of transforming into a vampire. To protect her from further harm, Van Helsing places a sacred communion wafer upon Mina's forehead, which brands a scar there in the shape of the wafer. Van Helsing informs her that the scar will disappear when Dracula dies, and he leads the group in prayer. During the day, the men enter Carfax Abbey and place sacred wafers upon the earth inside Dracula's wooden boxes. They do the same at Dracula's house in Picadilly, where Dr. Seward finds titles to two more houses. Quincey and Arthur depart to take care of the wooden boxes at those houses, while Van Helsing tells Dr. Seward and Jonathan what he has learned of Dracula's past. Arthur and Quincey return to Picadilly before sunset, but before the vampire hunters can leave, they hear a key turning in the front door. They prepare to encounter Dracula, who springs through the door very quickly. Harker slashes the front of Dracula's coat and gold falls out on the floor, which Dracula snatches up before escaping through a glass window. Dracula shakes his fist to ridicule the men and threatens their women before disappearing through a stable door. The vampire hunters return to the Harker's home, where they tell Mina everything they've encountered. Mina says that she pities Dracula for all the misery he has caused. Jonathan vows to destroy him.
Chapter XIV - "Pursuit"
Mina wakes suddenly and calls immediately for Van Helsing. She asks to be hypnotized, which Van Helsing does. While hypnotized, Mina says she can hear the sound of water lapping and men stamping on wooden boards as if they are on a boat. Van Helsing thus discovers that Mina is connected to Dracula's mind through the spell the vampire placed on her, as she is hearing what the vampire hears from his coffin on a boat. The hunters thus pursue Dracula to the London shipyards, where they question a shipping-clerk to find that Dracula is on board the Czarina Catherine, which is sailing to the port of Varna. Back at the Harker home, Mina asks the hunters to go with them on their mission to kill Dracula, so that they can hypnotize her to better locate the vampire. She also requests that they kill her if she begins turning into a vampire. The men are speechless to hear these requests, but they concede to both wishes. Mina also requests that a burial service be read over her, and although the men find this strange, they do so and feel an odd sense of relief afterwards. In eight days, the vampire hunters (by this time, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Mina, Jonathan, Quincey, and Arthur) board a train to Varna to head off Count Dracula. When they arrive, they receive a telegram that informs them the Czarina Catherine has docked at the port of Galatz instead of Varna. The hunters quickly board another train to Galatz, where they discover from the captain of the Czarina Catherine that Dracula has been aboard his ship. Mina surmises how Dracula must have tricked the hunters into believing he was going to Varna and uses a map to point out the rivers by which Dracula must travel to reach his castle. To head him off, the hunters split into three groups: 1) Jonathan and Arthur who will follow Dracula by riverboat, 2) Dr. Seward and Quincey who will follow him on horseback, and 3) Van Helsing and Mina who will drive straight to Dracula's castle and kill his vampire brides by carriage. Jonathan is bewildered by the notion of his wife going to Castle Dracula, and the chapter's final panels zoom in on his fearful face.
Chapter XV - "Jaws of the Dragon"
Van Helsing persuades Jonathan that Mina will be safer with him nearer Castle Dracula than the actual Count himself. Jonathan gives Mina a revolver with which to protect herself, and the couple say their goodbyes. As the three pairs of hunters close in on Dracula, Van Helsing notes in memorandums to Dr. Seward that Mina is showing signs of turning into a vampire (i.e. developing an aversion to garlic, sleeping during the day, staying up at night, and losing her appetite for food). One night, Van Helsing draws a circle in the dirt around their camp and fills it with crumbled bits of the sacred wafer. Due to the magical effect of this wafer, Mina is unable to cross the line to the outside of the circle. That same night, Van Helsing and Mina are attacked by the vampire brides who beckon Mina to come to them; however, the sacred wafer stops the brides from coming inside the circle and protects Mina from going outside of it. Meanwhile, Jonathan and Arthur abandon their riverboat to secure horses, while Dr. Seward and Quincey close in on a band of gypsies whom they've seen carting a large wooden box by carriage. The chapter ends as Van Helsing enters Castle Dracula to find the coffins of Dracula's three vampire brides. He lifts their lids and briefly admires their beauty. He then sees Dracula's coffin, "more lordly than the rest," fills it with the sacred wafer, "and so banished him from it."
Chapter XVI - "Sunset"
The chapter opens with Van Helsing driving stakes into the vampire brides, sealing the door to Castle Dracula, and returning to Mina, who says that she senses Dracula and Jonathan approaching. The pair hide in a crevice near Castle Dracula as they hear wolves howling nearby. As the sun sets, Van Helsing uses his binoculars to spy the band of gypsies carrying Dracula in his wooden box. Jonathan, Arthur, Quincey, and Dr. Seward converge with the gypsies on the plain below, and a skirmish ensues. During a lull in the battle, Jonathan and Quincey push Dracula's box off the carriage and pry it open. Dracula opens his eyes to glare at the two men, who slash his throat and stab his heart. The vampire's body then crumbles to dust. Dracula's curse has passed away with his body, and so the wafer scar on Mina's forehead disappears. Quincey then dies from a mortal wound he received in the skirmish, and Mina elegizes him, "a gallant gentleman."
Seven years later, Jonathan Harker writes in his journal about his son's birthday party. He and Mina have named him Quincey, after Quincey Morris, since he was born on the day that Quincey was killed. Jonathan writes about the group's revisitation of Castle Dracula during the previous summer, as well as their trouble finding someone to believe their story. He concludes by quoting from Van Helsing, who claims that they don't need anyone to believe their story. Even without it, Van Helsing says, young Quincey will come to understand how brave and important his mother is to the men who risked everything to save her. The graphic novel ends with a close-up image of Van Helsing smiling outside the frame.
The epistolary form of the original novel is represented with narrative panels made to look like handwritten letters. The handwriting of this narration is color-coded to change with the voice of each character as he or she communicates via journal, postal mail, travel log, medical diary, newspaper, dictation, and/or memorandum. In order of first appearance, Jonathan Harker's writing is color-coded yellow, Mina Harker's pink, the Captain of the Demeter's brown, Dr. Seward's blue, Lucy Westerna's purple, and Dr. Abraham Van Helsing's green. Count Dracula never communicates via writing, but his and the three female vampires' spoken language often appears in red.
The characters' dialogue conforms little with that of the original novel. The final lines spoken by Van Helsing are taken diectly from the last lines of the novel's epilogue, but this is atypical of the rest of the comic. Most of the dialogue is written in the style of comic books from the graphic novel's time , often with one-liners that contribute to the comic's superhero aesthetic. These short quips hieghten the drama of the work in a way that makes it adaptable to film, which Thomas mentions his hope for at the end of his preface: "Ah, if only Bela Lugosi were alive (or something) to star in a film version!" Thomas writes this after having expressed his desire to write "the most faithful adaptation ever done," and so it seems his dialogue was written to both converse with older adaptations of Dracula and inspire new ones.
As in the original novel, the characters' narratives are framed by an epigraph that sets up the story as absolutely true, no matter how strange the events may seem: "How these papers have been placed in sequence will be made manifest in the reading of them. All needless matters have been eliminated, so that a history almost at variance with the possibilities of latter-day belief may stand forth as simple fact. There is throughout no statement of past events wherein memory may err, for all the records chosen are exactly contemporary, given from the standpoints and within the range of knowledge of those who made them." The author of this epigraph is not named here or in the original novel. As the frame of a Gothic story, it functions to warn the reader about the unlikely truth-value of the tales that follow while simultaneosuly corroborating them as credible.
Bronze Age of Comics
Since Dracula was conceived in the mid-1970s and the first half published by 1975, its illustrations retain the stylistic elements shared by comics from an era called the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Though this label is contentious, it may serve as shorthand reference to comics published in the 1970s, many of which tended to show darker plotlines and aspire toward photorealism in their drawings. Dracula is a latter-day follower of this trend, as its Gothic plotline is a darker one, and its characters (e.g. Lucy Westerna) often appear with hair, body, and clothing styles reminiscient of those trending in the 1970s.
Although Dracula was not written as a superhero comic , its illustrations of the vampire hunters often take on a superhero quality. Van Helsing especially is shown as a hero, as he is depicted in wide panels rescuing children, caring for damsels in distress, and brandishing tools that will help the hunters in their pursuit of the vampire. By contrast, Dracula is depicted as a classical supervillian, as he is given wide panels to smile maniacally, peek around corners, and glower with red eyes.
Reader reviews have acknowledged that the graphic novel achieves its goal of making a faithful adaptation. If we judge a faithful adaption by how strictly it adheres to the original plot and setting, then Thomas and Giordano's Dracula is indeed a very faithful adaptation. However, if we judge a faithful adaptation by how the original plot and setting are captured but updated in medium and appearance to meet new cultural demands, then Thomas and Giordano's Dracula may miss the mark of cultural relevance in the 21st century. Reading the graphic novel according to this latter criteria, the comic is little more than an homage to the original novel, and would not seem to not contribute much to the community of Dracula and its adaptations other than its 1970s vibe.
Perhaps the work could have achieved more cultural relevance had it been entirely revamped to fit a more contemporary comic scene. This is an artistic path that illustrator Dick Giordano laments not following in his afterword: "I was saddened by the fact that if I were to design the Dracula characters today, I would have drawn them completely different...and there was nothing I could do about it." Starting over would have meant scrapping the earlier work that was published in Dracula Lives! and a reimagining of the entire project. But new prints at the back of the comic (prototypes for the graphic novel's more contemporary cover art) suggest a reconception of the graphic novel's aesthetic, one that is much darker, more ornate, and more sexual than the rest of the graphic novel's illustrations. These illustrations capture the sexual overtones of the original novel with images of half-nude vampire brides, a busty Lucy Westerna in a red dress being penetrated by Dracula's fangs, and Dracula's red eyes looming over a sleeping Mina Harker. After reading the rest of the graphic novel (which is softcore compared to these hardcore images) it seems a tease that this reconception did not occur until the end.
On the other hand, reading the graphic novel in the 21st century gives new meaning to its 1970s vibe, which may capture the classical gothic or period piece aspect of the 1897 novel rather effectively. Its old-school style does make the story seem like it came from an older time, which helps the adapters achieve their goal of making a very faithful adaptation. For a younger audience encountering the story for the first time, this old-school style would accentuate the fact that the graphic novel deviates little from the original narrative, while also providing the audience with a newer, more efficient way of becoming acquainted with the century-old story.
Dracula has always been a story about the encounter between the old and the new. In Stoker's novel, this encounter is captured in the meeting between characters of the old world, like Dracula, and characters of the new world, like Jonathan Harker. In Thomas and Giordano's graphic novel, this meeting is experienced by the audience, as they (like Harker) encounter a text that is like a vampire--a representative from an older world resting in its coffin, waiting to be opened for our fear and enjoyment.