Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Vampire vs. The Strange Vampire

We've unearthed the Sept '81 issue of Terrors of Dracula Vol. 3 #2 (which turned out to be the very last issue of this short-lived Eerie Pub series), for a double header of blood sucker fun. "Vampire" was originally a precode Harvey horror tale and was featured in the Jan '53 issue of Tomb of Terror #7 as "Shadow of Death"--compare to the original version HERE! --while "The Strange Vampire" originally appeared in the Dec '51 issue of Web of Mystery #6 as Ace's "The Vampire's Weird Duel", but unfortunately I don't have that issue for comparison. Anyway, which tale has more bite?


Brian Barnes said...

I can't choose between them! I always liked the first story, it's ... I guess "sweet" isn't the best term for a love-sick murderous vampire ... but poetic. The ending in this version is interesting, it removes a bunch of the captions and relies on the artwork; knowing the original tale I can't tell if this is an improvement in understand or not. But certainly anything that lets the art breathe without endless captions is probably good in a comic.

The second one is a lot more ghastly with a corpse like vampires and death left and right (only to be made a little comical by the bat flying while hefting a big sword!) That might have to go up on Tumblr :) Pretty much an adventure story, the only narrative problem is the late introduction of the fencer.

The "Napoleonic" (I don't know how authentic it is) costume is actually pretty cool for a vampire. And the Eerie B&W makes for some decent shadows.

Guy Callaway said...

Cool! Loves me some Eerie pubs madness.

Mr. Cavin said...

Man, I'm really liking that well-lit art in today's second story. May be a Milt Caniff impression, but it's a neat one. The sort of nonchalant way the vamp dispatches people left and right--"your struggles are useless. Be quiet."--is particularly compelling.

Also compelling is the Jekyll-n-Hyde type vampire in the first story. In the comments section the last time around, several of us noted the Wolf-manly nature of the central monster--and indeed, it's certainly a modern werewolf story; lots of modern vampire fiction is (and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, besides)--but what I failed to notice in this story's original pre-code incarnation was the way the vamp got giddy and wickedly drunk for a spell off the blood of his victims. That's a pretty nice touch. I'd like to see them run with that in the movie version.

I'm surprised to discover that I like the Eerie Pubs art for the vampire story better than the pre-code version, even while finding those seventies panels and poorly laid-out word balloons just as awkward as I usually do. I totally miss that peeing bat from the original, though.

Guy Callaway said...

"I totally miss that peeing bat from the original, though."

Um, yeah..I sat there thinking "hey..what..really?". A true splash panel.

Grant said...

I wonder how many stories use the idea of the vampire (either a male or female one) actually falling for someone and keeping away from them for that reason. There are probably plenty, but the only one I can name is a Dracula story in Eerie # 48.

I've never owned an awful lot of them, but the Eerie Publishing story that made the most obvious impression on me was called "DEADMAN" in WITCHES TALES 12 / 71. Its title makes it sound like a supernatural story, but it's a really out-there UFO abduction story (before that became a huge pop culture subject).