The Dracula File
Written by Gerry Finley Day, Simon Furman
Drawn by Eric Bradbury, Geoff Senior
Published by Hibernia
Available only by mail order £9.00
86 Pages, Perfect Bound.
Originally serialised in Scream! comic issues 1-15 and Scream! Holiday Special 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988
The Dracula File © Egmont UK Ltd. All rights reserved
Hibernia specialise in bringing long out of print British comics back in to the market. You can find articles by me on a number of their books by clicking this link – Hibernia Publications.
Without publishers like Hibernia many gems would remain unread by many. There is a following growing for Hibernia, their books are so good readers return to them for titles they’ve never read as well as childhood favourites,
This was selected to be the lead story in Scream when it was launched in 1984. There is an enlightening introduction from Scream Editor, Barrie Tomlinson, and an interlude piece by David McDonald which put everything in context regarding publishing history.
The Dracula Files is a revamped story (pardon the pun) of the Vampire lord. The story begins in a divided Germany during the Cold War, current day at time of publication.The story is certainly of its time. 1984 was during the Cold War, a period of often tense stand off between East and West, only the year before the Russians had brought down an aircraft flying from Alaska to Korea, Flight KAL007. So the setting was something familiar to readers, grounding the story in reality.
Written for a children’s Horror comic there are all the elements you might expect in a Dracula story. There are plenty of killings, enthralled servants and bats. Missing is the boudoir scenes with plunging necklines and heaving cleavage that you find in the movies. So the atmospherics are all there.
There is one howler of a plot mistake in the last story, it stood out quite starkly. That story was clearly not part of the original serialisation, the rest of the story flows well in the collection. Over all the writing is of good quality, storytelling was different in comics those days so it may read a little dated. I think the story has aged well, perhaps helped by the fact that it dates itself as a period piece.
Eric Bradbury’s art is brilliant, plenty of expression in the characters and some great atmospherics. The characters all fit the roles, the British secret service guards are suitably scruffy for example. Some page layouts look a little unruly compared to what would be expected in a modern comic, however this doesn’t detract in the over all quality.
There are a few covers included at the end of the book. Given the short life of Scream I imagine these few are all that existed.
Another lovely collection from Hibernia.