‘Tomb of Dracula’: The Lord of Vampires is the Worst Houseguest Ever

Tomb of Dracula cover No. 33
And yet still safer than flying United.

The best stories are driven by conflict, and comic books are no exception.

Good vs. Evil, life and death, the fate of our civilization, the world, the universe, all reasons why readers keep coming back year after year.

And yet one of the most horrific acts of violence, one that has stayed with this reader all these years, centered on the flipping of an urn.

It remains distressing to this very day.

Continue reading “‘Tomb of Dracula’: The Lord of Vampires is the Worst Houseguest Ever”

‘Tomb of Dracula’: When the Terror Got Real

img_0316In 1973, just a few months at the helm, Marv Wolfman was already shaking things up at Marvel Comics’ “Tomb of Dracula.”  He had introduced Blade, arguably one of the most important characters in the Marvel Universe, in TOD No. 10. Of course, we only know that in hindsight.

But Wolfman wanted readers to know the horror title would live up to its grim potential. This wasn’t going to be the typical Marvel book in which the characters get pummeled one issue and are fine the next. Violence would have consequences.

Some bad things were going to happen. And no one was safe.

Continue reading “‘Tomb of Dracula’: When the Terror Got Real”

Introducing Blade – and the Marvel Universe Would Never Be the Same

Blade gets ready to shank our undead star in "Tomb of Dracula" No. 10.
Blade gets ready to shank our undead star in “Tomb of Dracula” No. 10.

Marv Wolfman had only been writing Marvel Comics’ “Tomb of Dracula” for a few months when he created the most dynamic, dangerous character in the horror comic’s supporting cast – one who would help launch Marvel from the printed page to box-office success.

Welcome Blade – the vampire-slayer!

Or the vampire killer.

Your call. The comic flips between both.

One thing is obvious: Blade is nothing like the other hunters chasing Dracula.

Continue reading “Introducing Blade – and the Marvel Universe Would Never Be the Same”

Dracula Rises – and the Marvel Age of Horror Begins!

TOD1coverHas there ever been a less anticipated – and more ground-breaking comic – ever released by Marvel Comics?

With the opening of “The Tomb of Dracula” in 1972, the company proved there was a mainstream audience for darker, more mature comics – with stories about a supernaturally cursed mass murderer who needed to feed on the blood of the living.

And what was the purpose of the Comics Code Authority again?

Continue reading “Dracula Rises – and the Marvel Age of Horror Begins!”

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About ‘Dark Shadows’

Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins on 'Dark Shadows'
‘Dark Shadows’ ‘ Barnabas Collins, ready for a snack.

Next summer, “Dark Shadows” marks its 50th anniversary.

The supernatural soap (1966-1971 on ABC) didn’t have a long run as far as daytime serials go – “General Hospital” recently celebrated its 52nd year on the air – but it made a mark like no other.

With its suspenseful tales of remorseful bloodsuckers, handsome ghosts and malicious witches, “Dark Shadows” captured the imaginations of housewives, college students and kids, who would race home from school to watch the show spin out its increasingly crazy stories. Continue reading “What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About ‘Dark Shadows’”