On the eve of Dracula’s Jubilee, radical forces gather to oppose the tyrant. Kate Reed, vampire journalist and free-thinker, takes a seat on the revolutionary Council of Seven Days, though she learns that the anarchist group harbors a traitor in its midst.
The Grey Men, Dracula’s dreaded secret police, have been ordered to quash all resistance to the rule of the arch-vampire. With intrigue on all sides, the scene is set for an explosive addition to the Anno Dracula series.
|Publisher||Review .pdf||144||Titan||GN – Horror||November 21st, 2017|
Lashaan from Bookidote reads and reviews a fair share of graphic novels and I always tell myself I will read more, too… You see… other than my Mickey Mouse comics collection from yonks (read: decades) ago, I have- in my recent history- only read two GNs: Deadpool and Groot. How sad am I? So, maybe it was some sort of cosmic power at work here, you know my desire bursting out into the Universe and all… It’s no joke, that when I saw an email from Titan Comics in my inbox, I think I felt all sorts of holy for a moment. Mind, I will never be able to pull off as brilliant a GN review as Lashaan is well known to do, but a fledgeling girl has a few things to say, so don’t quit on me yet.
Dracula is my most favourite vampire, ever. End of. He’s a legend for a reason and immortal in the literary world. He does not take centre stage in Anno Dracula, though. Not in a sense that you’ll see him baring his fangs on every page and panel… No… He already has Britain, the Royal Navy and the Special Branch of law enforcement. The struggle in this GN is in between the side who fights to keep this power and the side rebelling against it. Dracula is too big of a bigwig to grace us with his presence… it would be unheard of to see a country’s president fighting on the front lines. But add a threesome of women into the picture and he may just have an offer to make… 😉
The spotlight in this GN is on Kate Reed, aka Wednesday, member of the Council of The Seven Days. Also, Irish. And a hippy vampire. So… yeah, even though she is ultimately the one that comes with sass and probably saves the day, I didn’t really like her that much. Just shows.. if she would have been, say, Friday in the Council of The Seven Days, I bet you, I would have liked her a whole lot more. Kate is the ultimate goody-two-shoes. She’s a vampire but not once do you see her sinking her fangs into someone, not even the bad guys…
Same cannot be said for Penelope Churchward. Now, she is a female I can root for… as a socialite, she is used to taking what she likes and even if it gets messy she still comes out from the other side looking like a lady. Yeah, she’s totally a bit of a ‘mean girl‘ but hey, don’t hate the achiever!
Anyway… Kate and Penny don’t really mix well… they’re just too different and the ‘opposites attract’ doesn’t work in their favour here. That is until political conspiracies and traitorous acts push the women to put their differences aside. Somewhat…
Of course, Kate and Penny aren’t the only characters in this GN… there are so many others and they’re all cool… even the evil ones. And here, massive respect and admiration to Paul McCaffrey for those sublime illustrations that brought each and every character, each and every scene to its maximum potential. Artwork is one of the first things I look at when considering a graphic novel and I don’t often come across something that manages to capture me straight away (hence why I don’t read them that often) and yet, McCaffrey’s talent made me stop on some pages for a good while just to take it all in. The colours, the perfection, the effect that made everything come to life as if in 3D… In this graphic novel the artwork truly works seamlessly with the story for 100% enjoyment. There is a whole ton of action in this GN and the storyline coupled with the art, plus that little bit of ‘whodunnit‘ AND the occasional nicely served chuckle- well, I was fully engrossed!
But back to the characters for a sec, the Council of The Seven Days has, yep, you guessed it, seven members…. I won’t go into detail about them all, because I do believe you should be left with a certain degree of discovery. I do so like how they were all, rather stereotypically, imagined and they even matched their respective days of the week. Stereotypes are normally something to wave one’s fist at, but guys, it really worked here. My favourite of the lot was Peter the Painter aka Friday. I mean, come on, who doesn’t like Fridays? Rough around the edges, happy to jump into a brawl… and Russian. “Die pigs!”- have to love that temperament!
There was one little thing that made me roll my eyes, and that is the use of the ‘ancient’ joke around sparkling vampires. “We do not approve of vampires who sparkle.” – is it just me, or is that joke/quip getting seriously old? I mean, at this stage die-hard Twilight fans have gotten over it, why can’t everyone else just bury the 8236565 variations of the sparkly vampire phrase and move on? That aside, I won’t be splitting a hair and down rating this little gem of a GN. A couple of hours well spent, if I do say so myself.
Overall- I was fully immersed in this bloody display of race against the clock, and it works great as a little teaser because this GN is a sequel to Newman’s full novel Anno Dracula #1 in a series of five full novels, and I intend to make and take that time to discover those books in more detail. With these illustrations in my head, I am so ready to dive in!