Dracula is no doubt one of the most iconic villains in pop culture. But where most modern takes on that classic story tend to paint this undead villain as a figure of tragedy, designer and artist Ricardo Delgado has a very different take in mind. His new illustrated novel Dracula of Transylvania aims to explore a more terrifying side of Vlad Dracula, portraying him as nothing short of “a complete horror.”
While timed to the 90th anniversary of Universal Pictures’ seminal Dracula movie, Dracula of Transylvania is specifically a re-imagining of the original Bram Stoker novel. In this version of the story, published by Clover Press, Dracula is a terrifying, inhuman threat to all of mankind. In fact, he’s depicted as the literal son of Satan. Opposing him, as ever, is heroic solicitor Jonathan Harker, who in this version of the story is an Indiana Jones-like adventurer whose travels take him from the Catacombs of Paris to the Roman Colosseum and into the heart of Dracula’s native Transylvania.
To get a better idea of how this new story is transforming such a familiar villain, check out our exclusive first look at Delgado’s character designs and other artwork from Dracula of Transylvania:
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“DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA supports and builds upon Stoker’s classic, haunting original story, but this is most certainly not your parents’ Dracula or your grandparents’ Dracula,” said Delgado in Clover Press’ press release. “This personification of the Nosferatu king is dark and powerful, a malevolent antagonist who suffers no fools, accepts no failure and crushes anyone in his path. This Dracula is not a romantic. He’s a complete horror. Just the way I always wanted him to be.”
“Dracula is vileness incarnate, a pure thing of Hell,” added Delgado. “He’s spent the past thousand years putting sword to flesh and tearing at the tapestry of history as the son of Satan himself. Kings, Popes and armies fear Dracula. And so should you.”
Delgado has worked as a storyboard artist and character designer for a number of film and TV projects, including Apollo 13, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Incredibles, The Matrix: Reloaded, Men in Black and Wall-E. Comic book fans will also recognize him as the creator of the long-running Dark Horse Comics series Age of Reptiles.
Dracula of Transylvania is currently being offered through Kickstarter, with the campaign running until March 25, 2021. The campaign includes a number of different pledge tiers, with bonuses including everything from signed, leatherbound copies of the book to art prints to original sketches.
This isn’t the only drastically new take on Dracula to be announced in 2021. Marvel’s Eternals director Chloe Zhao is writing, directing and producing a new Dracula movie with “futuristic, sci-fi western” trappings. Not to be outdone, Blumhouse Productions is developing a new Dracula movie inspired by the success of 2020’s The Invisible Man reboot.
For more Dracula goodness, find out what we thought of The BBC’s quirky but enjoyable Dracula series.