Anno Dracula – 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem by Kim Newman @comicstitan

344378641895. Prince Dracula has ruled Great Britain for ten years, spreading vampirism through every level of society.

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.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
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!

 

anno dracula wall
Anno Dracula – 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem. Illustrations by Paul McCaffrey

 

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!

Find Anno Dracula – 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem on Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA

 

25 comments

  1. I like the style of this artwork. I have pledged to read more graphic novels next year and I love vampires, so this one looks particulaly good to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are one of the few bloggers I don’t feel the need to cringe when I see a longer review. Ha ha. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you.. this is a massive compliment re reviews 🙂 It’s definitely good to keep in mind the length of the review sometimes… I don’t mind long ones but when they’#re 80% made up of retelling the plot, I lose my interest quite quickly…
      Yes! Newman has a 5 book vampire series so I want to check it out sometime soon and there’s more GNs in this series to come, I think! Have you read many GNs? Any recs?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Funnily enough, the original ‘Dracula’ is one of the next books on my reading list 😛 I read a Kim Newman book not so long ago and thoroughly enjoyed so this will most definitely be getting my attention once I’ve read its predecessor novel!
    Yeah, the real-vampires-don’t-sparkle joke is getting way too old now…the last Twishite movie came out yeeeears ago!
    Awesome review 😀 I really need to read some more graphic novels too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Would this be your first time reading ‘Dracula’?
      I love that book… It’s very atmospheric in parts and not at all creepy, I think! 😀 I hope you enjoy it 🙂
      hahaha @ Twishite! 😀 hilarious… I actually really dig the movies and I loved the books as well… ^^ It’s one of those that you either love or hate, no middle ground about them although I have to admit- SO much cringe! What made me like them was the Volturi and the action bits… anything to do with Jacob and I wanna gag! 😀
      Thank you, lovely! 🙂 ❤

      Like

  3. This is so cool!! Lashaan got me to pick up GNs too!! This is such a cool concept- cos yes- who doesn’t love Dracula? hehehehe it is a shame the mc didn’t sink her teeth into anyone 😉 But I like the idea of two very different types of characters being forced to work with each other. And I’m glad the artwork was captivating. hehehe I get what you mean about sparkly vampire jokes though 😉 Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love graphic novels! And this one sounds brilliant. You really should check out Low if you haven’t. I have reviews up for that series (although I am way behing on GN reviews). This looks right up my alley between plot and illustration. I think you did a bloody great job reviewing this Stan!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well Liz, ain’t you gone and blown it out of the park?! Great review!

    I keep seeing Kim Newton’s Anno Dracula series popping up on GR and the such and really want to get round to reading it. I may actually own the first book, thinking about it. I didn’t realise this GN existed, so I’m super exited it does and will deffo be giving this a read at some point over the next couple of weeks.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh man, so much praise from the great Liz!!! I do not deserve this!! *tears* Thank you so much for that shout out, and I’m glad that you picked up a comic that worked out quite well for you. It even has a Neil Gaiman quote on it!! I haven’t heard of Anno Dracula (the book series) till now, and now that I looked it up, the author sounds pretty awesome. I’ll definitely have to check them out!! The artwork also reminds me of Locke & Key by Joe Hill (you might enjoy that one too). Wonderful review as always, Liz! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Praise well-deserved! 🙂
      I know right? I was like- how have I not heard about this book series yet? And the GN worked really well at making me interested in the whole series… so win/win all around! 🙂
      I have seen a few reviews around for Locke & Key… sounds like my kind of creepy 🙂
      Thank you Lashaan! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am just very fussy when accepting review copies! 😀 but defo super pleased that it fit me perfectly… and if you like vamps as wlel, I think you’ll enjoy this particular GN! 🙂

      Like

  7. NOICE ! I used to read of lot of GN , but I sadly don’t own Mr McDuck’s fortune and hence these days I only read DC comics and Image comics (few) . But this sounds super-fun , might buy this .

    Also , considering I never get any days off , I must say ,I’m as neutral to Wednesday as i’d be to friday

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Nice one, indeed! I’ve never heard of Image comics… must check it out!

      Hahaha, love what you did the the weekdays there, although i feel for you… January can’t come fast enough for you 🙂

      Like

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