This year marks the 90th anniversary of Bela Lugosi’s classic debut as Dracula, with Universal’s original monster movie directed by Tod Browning released in 1931. To mark the anniversary of the hugely influential film and original novel by Bram Stoker, the acclaimed Creator of Age of Reptiles and Concept Film Artist Ricardo Delgado is funding his own reinvention of history in the upcoming original graphic novel. Transylvanian Dracula through Kick starter.

In an exclusive interview with CBR, Delgado talks about what he’s uniquely bringing to the historic vampire story, the endless appeal of Dracula, and includes some of the earliest artwork from Transylvanian Dracula.

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CBR: Ricardo, you are adapting and reinventing one of the greatest horror icons of all time in Dracula. What inspired you to make an original graphic novel of this classic story?

Ricardo Delgado: I thought the time had come to expand on familiar concepts from the Dracula story in a modern visual effects context within a novel, which is quite ironic. I have never seen the full range of possible transformations for a vampire that is consistently maintained throughout a movie simply because it is so expensive. So what I did was write those things on a model and then use my skills as a Hollywood conceptual artist to present these possibilities as part of this book; something very unique. My elevator speech was Star Wars art Satisfies Salem Lot. And it worked! You haven’t seen anything like this. Nothing. Excited to share with everyone. I can not wait.

As someone with an extensive career as a movie concept artist, what is one thing you continue to find attractive in the comic book medium as a storyteller?

Slim: The ability to tell a story in an all-encompassing way. This is why comic book movies are so popular today, the technology is now available to tell these fantastic tales in an almost photographic and believable way, yet these stories have been around since I obsessed over the circular shelf at my local pharmacy. in search of the last wave. by Marvel Comics and Famous monsters of Filmland.

So Thanos is nothing new to us comic book folks, the comic book medium told us about that possibility in the 1970s; the movies have just caught up. I hope to see some of the even more fantastic comic stories adapted in the future. All of this is a huge plate of fun for me.

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In the midst of all the previous adaptations, what was something you especially liked to bring into the classic story?

Slim: Dracula has been repeated many times, so I thought my skills as a concept artist, as I mentioned earlier, would help, but I wanted to give this story a darker twist and expand the world that Dracula lives in. Think The Exorcist Satisfies Lord of the Rings. Terror meets great adventure. A chase across a continent is not a small story to tell in my opinion, but it sure is expensive for a movie, and runtime is another factor. Not so in a novel, and less so in an illustrated novel.

I’m also a huge Victorian Ghost Story fan, as well as a huge Stephen King nutter, and I just wanted that kind of scary in this version, along with an expansion of Dracula’s supernatural world. There are ghosts, demons, skeletons, goblins, legions of rats, and even murderous vampires, all within my version of the classic Stoker story. I had a lot of fun creating it, I hope you all enjoy reading it.

What are some of the elements from previous adaptations that you consciously wanted to avoid with your iteration?

Slim: Less of the romantic version of Drac, which I think started with Dan Curtis’ television version of the story. I understand why that version happened given his creation of the Dark shadows franchise so I wanted a badass Dracula. A conqueror, a villain, a ruthless marauder who has terrorized the continent for a thousand years. Vader. Lecter. Sauron. A true giant villain. This story offers that version. Big moment.

Brides are also part of history, they are not far behind [from] the original story, which I always thought was not funny. They are also ruthless, powerful, and changeable predators that are not to be messed with. And they can back it up, and they are not afraid of the King of Vampires and they face him in the story, tooth and nail. They are tough, but so is my Drac. After all, it crushed a combined army of European city-states at some point before my story happens. It is a total monster.

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With this project in Kickstarted, what details or crowdfunding incentives can you anticipate about this campaign?

Slim: Well, there are many different levels and levels that people can buy history at, and as a child I had parents who worked hard but couldn’t always pay for everything, I’m very happy about that. There is something here for everyone from a casual reader to a collector who can purchase a piece of my original art to accompany their book.

With the original novel over 120 years old and the Tod Browning / Bela Lugosi film celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, why do you think Dracula continues to resonate with audiences?

Slim: Because Dracula is us. We can be heroes and we can be monsters. And Dracula symbolizes that for all of us: we fear him and yet we want his power. And part of my story is how everyone around Dracula envies his resonance, his rule, his tithe, his insistence on loyalty even though the King of the Vampires has no obligation or even the desire to return that loyalty. In the end, Dracula is really very human in that way in his villainy, and the forces of good in my story fighting him are not just trying to rid the world of Dracula but of what he represents, which is power without control.

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