Any fan of 1970s fantasy art knows the name Frank Frazetta. His covers for Tarzan and Conan are legendary, but while I’m no fan of sword ‘n’ sorcery, I love both his sci-fi pulp covers and his dabblings in classic horror. Take Dracula meets the Wolf Man for example. Originally appeared on the cover to Creepy #7, which hit the newsstand in 1965, its a wonderfully gothic compostition, complete with ruined cathedral and graveyard. I used to have a dog-eared poster of this on my wall when I was a kid so was very excited when I saw this one-shot from Image.
This is one of the recent run of comics that attempts to tell the story behind the picture. Writing duties fall to 30 Days of Night‘s Steve Niles with art by Francesco Francavilla. Sounds good so far. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. The story is minimal and hardly world shattering; Drac needs to drink the blood of a virgin and is about to sink the old fangs in when her lover, a Loups Garoux pops up and they have a wrestle. And that’s about it. The climax is a bit of a cop-out and the abrupt ending irritates rather than leaves you gagging for more.
This a comic that relies on nostalgia and buckets of atmosphere to save a razor-thin story and it almost pulls it off. Unfortuanately, almost isn’t enough. If it didn’t have Frank Frazetta’s name connected to it, Dracula Meets The Wolfman would be dismissed as an instantly forgettable and ultimately disappointingly unoriginal rehash.
1 (out of 5) Tana Leaves