Saturday, March 17, 2007

More Newtons: Dracula

One of the few horror titles that Newton published, Dracula had a spotted history. Launched in the second wave of Newtons, the book only appeared 16 times (14 regular issues, one special and one annual) and survived both name changes and the early 1976 relaunch. Continuity wise it didn't fare as bad as some of the other Newtons, although there was a jump from the regular 'Tomb Of Dracula' material to the more adult 'Dracula Lives' and 'Vampire Tales' stories. The official title for the Dracula series was Tales Of Horror - Dracula as can be clearly seen on the covers of the earlier issues. This full title was announced in the column by John Cornielle in July/August of 1975, but was dropped for the standard Dracula title for advertising and subscription purposes.

#1

Date: circa August 1975

Contents:
Dracula by Gerry Conway & Gene Colan (Tomb Of Dracula #1)
Hobo's Lullaby by John Warner & Yong Montano (Vampire Tales #11)

The first issue of the title began where the USA Tomb Of Dracula began although the cover was featured on TOD #2. The book also had a short back-up feature from the Vampire Tales magazine. The back-ups would continue. The reproduction on these titles were exceedingly good and it showcased how effective Gene Colan's art is in it's pure black and white form.

The poster was of Man-Thing.

#2

Date: August 1875

Contents:
A Poison of the Blood by Gerry Conway, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Dracula Lives #1)
The Creature From The Crystal by Steve Gerber & Pablo Marcos (Vampire Tales #1)
Revenge of the Unliving by Gardner Fox & Bernet (Vampire Tales #1)

It's difficult to get full details/credits for the magazine material used in these books, but that's mainly because the USA credits aren't complete in those books either. The second issue of the title bypassed the second issue of continuity and instead plumped for another Colan story from Dracula Lives.

The poster was of The Fantastic Four.

#3

Date: September 1975

Contents:
Who Stalks The Vampire? by Archie Goodwin, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #3)
The Vampire's Coffin by Tony DiPreta (Mystery Tales #15)
A Vampire's Home Is His Castle by Doug Moench & Lombardia (Vampire Tales #4)

This issue brought the title back on track both with story and cover art.

The poster was of Dr Doom and Spider-Man.

#4

Date: September 1975

Contents:
The Fear Within by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #4)
Bats by Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy & Duffy Vohland (Vampire Tales #7)

Again the storyline continued but the cover was from one of the USA magazines (the title and number escapes me right at the moment).

The poster was a reproduction of the Silver Surfer #6 cover and the swap card was Spider-Man A2.

#5

Date: October 1975

Contents:
The Moorlands Monster by Gardner Fox, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #6)
When Calls The Vampire by Joe Maneely (Adventure Into Terror #10)

Again the book skipped an issue with #5 of the USA series being overlooked for the story and (heavily altered) cover art for issue #6. Of interest is that two of the missing covers were drawn by Neal Adams yet this cover by Adams and Gil Kane was reproduced.

The poster was of Ka-Zar. I have no details on the swap card.

#6

Date: October 1975

Contents:
Night Of The Death Stalkers by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #7)
Bounty For A Vampire by Tony Isabella & Tony DeZuniga (Dracula Lives #13)

Again this issue continues the sequence of stories and covers of the standard USA title.

The poster was of Ghost Rider and the swap card was The Avengers #A5

#7

Date: November 1975

Contents:
The Hell-Crawlers by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Ernie Chau (Tomb Of Dracula #8)
Bounty For A Vampire by Tony Isabella & Tony DeZuniga (Dracula Lives #13)

Another heavily altered cover, this time by John Buscema. Again the contents match up with the cover art and the sequence (albeit it one issue early) is correct.

I have no details of the poster at this moment.

#8

Date: November 1975

Contents:
The Voodoo Man by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Jack Abel (Tomb Of Dracula #11)
The Vampire Man by unknown (Dracula Lives #3)

A huge leap as the book misses issue #9 & 10 and instead reprints issue #11 (complete with cover) of the USA title.

The poster was a reproduction of the Silver Surfer #6 cover.

#9

Date: November 1975

Contents:
Night Of The Screaming House by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #12)
Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble by C.A. Winter (Dracula Lives #3)

The storyline continued on from the previous issue. This issue also saw the full title - Tales of Horror - Dracula - dropped on the cover.

The poster was of Thor.

#10

Date: December 1975

Contents:
Dracula Is Dead by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #14)
Somewhere Waits The Vampire by Paul Reinman (Journey Into Unknown Worlds #27)

Again the the title skipped several issues both story and cover wise. This was the last issue of this book in it's original format.

I have no details on the poster at this moment.


Annual #1

Date: Early 1976

Contents:
Fear Stalker by Marv Wolfman, Mike Ploog & Ernie Chua (Dracula Lives #4)
This Blood Is Mine by Gardner Fox & Dick Ayers (Dracula Lives #4)
In Search Of Dracula by Chris Claremont (Dracula Lives #4)
Look Homeward, Vampire by Gerry Conway & Vicente Alcazar (Dracula Lives #4)
A Duel Of Demons by Gerry Conway & Frank Springer (Dracula Lives #5)
Night Flight To Terror by Tony Isabella, Gene Colan & Pablo Marcos (Dracula Lives #5)
Yes Virginia, There IS a Real Dracula by Doug Moench (Dracula Lives #6)
Shadow Over Versailles by Tony Isabella, John Buscema & Pablo Marcos (Dracula Lives #6)

This annual began to see the series rely more and more on reprints from the Dracula Lives magazine. I suspect that this issue appeared between issues #10 and #11 of the standard series. That the book was renamed for issue #11 alone makes this a more sound theory. The book contained no poster or other premiums.

I have Kevin Patrick to thank for alerting me to this issue. The price on this book was originally $1:00, but the scan in question shows the rarely seen 'Heritage Series' that Newton issued. This series consisted of a sticker slapped over the original price as the excess stock was placed back into the marketplace in order to dump returned books. More times than not the stickers were removed and as the glue was a permanent type the books were often damaged.

#11

Date: December 1975

Contents:
Bloody Mary by Rich Margopolous, George Tuska & Nestor Redondo (Dracula Lives #13)
Blood of My Blood by Gerry Conway & Steve Gan (Dracula Lives #13)
Fear Stalker by Marv Wolfman, Mike Ploog & Ernie Chua (Dracula Lives #4)
This Blood Is Mine by Gardner Fox & Dick Ayers (Dracula Lives #4)
Last Walk on the Night Side by Doug Moench & Tony DeZuniga (Dracula Lives #8)
And in That Sleep..! by Roy Thomas & Dick Giordano (Dracula Lives #8)

The book was already scheduled for reformatting even before the cancellation of of the entire line. This issue was titled Dracula Lives and went to a larger monthly format with more stories and a higher cover price. The book didn't feature a poster and concentrated on reprinting stories from the USA Dracula Lives magazine. Two of this issues stories, Fear Stalker and This Blood Is Mine also appeared in the preceeding annual.

#12

Date: February 1976

Contents:
Dracula A.D. 1972 by Gary Gerani (Dracula Lives #10)
The Blood Book by Steve Gerber, Bob Brown & Crusty Bunkers (Dracula Lives #10)
A Vampire Stalks Melrose Abbey by Doug Moench & Win Mortimer (Dracula Lives #10)
The Lady Who Collected Dracula by Doug Moench & Frank Robbins (Dracula Lives #9)
Scarlet In Glory by Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy & Mike Esposito (Dracula Lives #9)
The Scars Of Dracula by Gerry Boudreau (Dracula Lives #9)
A Night In The Unlife by Gerry Conway & Alfredo Alcala (Dracula Lives #9)
Twice Dies The Vampire by Gerry Conway & Sonny Trinidad (Dracula Lives #9)

The title of the book went back to Tales of Horror - Dracula with this issue and the following. Again the use of Dracula Lives stories would indicate that Newton were busily getting as much of the remanding stock into the marketplace as fast as they could.

#13

Date: April 1976

Contents:
Nobody Anybody Knows by Steve Gerber, Bob Brown, Frank Chiarmonte & Pablo Marcos (Dracula Lives #11)
Black Hand, Black Death by Len Wein, Gene Colan & Ernie Chua (Dracula Lives #8)
Child Of The Sun by Chris Claremont (Dracula Lives #8)
Bloodmoon by Marv Wolfman & Tony DeZuniga (Vampire Tales #9)
The Bleeding Time by Gerry Conway, Virgilio Redonodo, Alfredo Alcala & Tony DeZuniga (Vampire Tales #9)
Shardes Of A Crystal Rainbow by Doug Moench & Tony DeZuniga (Vampire Tales #9)

Despite the fact that there's a poster advertised on the front cover it appears that none were ever included. The centre pages have colour advertisements and the free iron-on transfer was of Spider-Man/Daredevil. This was the last issue to feature the full title of the series.

#14

Date: August 1976

Contents:
Fear is the Name of the Game by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #15)
Return from the Grave by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #16)
Fast of Blood - Temptation - Feast of Blood by Doug Moench & Sonny Trinidad (Vampire Tales #10)
A House of Pleasure the House of Death by Doug Moench, Mike Vosburg & Howard Nostrand (Vampire Tales #10)

This book would see a return to the Tomb Of Dracula stories and they picked up where it left off in issue #10. There were no give aways with this issue and it marked the last numbered issue of the title. At the time Newton were busily cancelling and restructuring the entire line yet this title was one of those slated to survive along with Planet Of The Apes and Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu.

SPECIAL nn

Date: circa mid 1976

Contents:
The Lady Who Collected Dracula by Doug Moench, Frank Robbins & Frank Springer (Dracula Lives #9)
Scarlet In Glory by Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy & Mike Esposito (Dracula Lives #9)
A Night In The Unlife by Gerry Conway & Alfredo Alcala (Dracula Lives #9)
Twice Dies The Vampire by Gerry Conway & Sonny Trinidad (Dracula Lives #9)
Let It Bleed by David Kraft, Don Heck & Frank Springer (Giant Size Dracula #4)
Night Of The Blood Stalker by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer (Tomb Of Dracula #25)
(no title) by Thompson O'Rouke & Ernie Chau (?) - sorry, can't find a title or anything that helps me identify this story anywhere.

As this book continues stories from the USA Dracula Lives and the Aust Tales Of Horror - Dracula #13 I expect that it was released prior to the last issue of the Dracula title proper. Incredibly there is a Tomb Of Dracula story included but it's so far out of sequence it doesn't fit in with the other material reprinted previously.

Unusually for Newton (who liked to throw material around everywhere) no other book featured any Dracula stories or material from any of the USA Dracula titles. The series, initially set up to reprint Tomb Of Dracula, thus missed the following issues of the USA title: #2, #5, #9, #10, #13 and issues #17 through to #24 inclusive.

3 comments:

robert thomas said...

Hi Daniel

There is an issue of Dracula which you may not be aware of (I didn't know of it myself until about a year or 2 ago):

Tales of Horror - Dracula Annual

100 pages, Jan 1976

Contents are:

"Fear Stalker" by Mike Ploog & Ernie Chau

"This Blood Is Mine!" by Gardner Fox and Dick Ayers

Article: "In Search of Dracula" by Chris Claremont

"Look Homeward, Vampire!" by Gerry Conway and Vincente Alcazar

"A Duel of Demons" by Gerry Conway & Frank Springer

"Night Flight To Terror" by Tony Isabella, Gene Colan & Pablo Marcos

"A Death in the Chapel!" by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan & Ernie Chua

Article: "Yes Virginia, There IS a Real Dracula" by Doug Moench

"Shadow Over Versailles" by Tony Isabella, John Buscema & Pablo Marcos.

There is no poster with this issue.

There are adds for:

Monsters Unleashed #1
X-Men #4
Thor #1

As far as I know, this issue was never advertised in any of the other comics or letters pages. May explain why it is overlooked by collectors.

Anonymous said...

My copy of Dracula #6 has swap card Avengers Series A No. 2.

Cheers, Spiros.

Blue Tyson said...

Great work, thanks.

I had some of these.