I don't want to oversell it or anything, but Kim Newman's Anno Dracula novels are pretty much everything I want out of literature. They're set in a world where Dracula's victory doesn't just have the immediate effect of leading the Count to control over Britain, but leads vampirism out of the shadows and into everyday life, transforming Dracula into the driving force of the 20th century. He's rarely seen himself, but his influence is everywhere, manifesting in thrilling and compelling ways.
But really, that's only half of the appeal. The novels take place in a world where Dracula isn't the only source, a literary mashup with everything from classic literature to The Rockford Files to Blacula to Jack Kirby's Fourth World. And honestly, that's what made me a little nervous about experiencing it as a comic.
I am, perhaps unsurprisingly, a huge fan of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula novels. Set in a world that diverges from the original Dracula when Dracula defeats his attackers and goes on to turn Queen Victoria into his thrall and make the formerly secret world of vampires extremely public, the novels chronicle a century shaped by his actions, incorporating pieces of pop culture that range from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Blacula to The Rockford Files.
It's great stuff that's making the transition to comics courtesy of Titan, and just in case I needed another reason to get excited about that as a fan of the books, the latest preview gives us a first glimpse at our cast, and the dramatic return (technically the "preturn") of the Bloody Red Baron!
When Titan announced that it was doing a comic book version of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula novels, I sort of assumed that they'd be doing an adaptation of the first novel and going from there. It does, after all, introduce the concept behind the universe, that it's not just a world where Dracula wins at the end of Bram Stoker's original story and goes on to rule over a late 19th-Century England, but that it's a shared universe where virtually all literature and pop culture from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to The Rockford Files coexist with vampires.
Now, though, it seems like that's not the case. When Kim Newman and Paul McCaffrey launch Anno Dracula in March, it looks like it'll be going beyond that original novel into something new. Check out a preview!
Kim Newman's Anno Dracula is one of my favorite novels. It's got a great high concept built around a simple premise, set in a world where Harker, Morris, Holmwood, and Van Helsing fail to stop Dracula, who goes on to bite Queen Victoria, make her his thrall, and become Prince Consort of England.
And now, it's finally making it to comics. Titan has announced an Anno Dracula adaptation set for March of 2017, written by Newman with art by Paul McCaffrey.
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