AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: A Story of Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein book and record set (1975)
Welcome to AWESOME-tober-fest 2011. For those that don’t know, this is my yearly Halloween celebration. I do it in conjunction with the Countdown to Halloween Blogathon. Each week I’ll be looking at comics, movies, TV shows and books that feature monsters. This year’s theme is Dracula/vampires, so the stuff will all feature Dracula or vampires.
Anyway, we begin the celebrations with comic book week. This week I’ll look at a bunch of comic books and comic book stories that featured the character of Dracula. Today, I’ll start with a different type of comic book. A Power Records book and record set. This is the book and record set of A Story of Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein. It was released in 1975 and features awesome artwork by Neal Adams. Somewhat of a long and awkward title, isn’t it? I thought this book would be appropriate to look at today because it features the monsters in reverse order of how they appeared in the last three years of AWESOME-tober-fest.
The book contained one long story incorporating all three monsters.
The story starts as a man and woman are discovered in the woods by a blonde Dracula with a Ted Nugent mustache. The guy is revealed to be Vincent, the nephew of Baron von Frankenstein and the girl his fiance, Ericka. He survived the murder of his uncle by villagers (saving the knowledge of his uncle’s work) and is being chased by those very same villagers. Dracula offers his castle as refuge. But as soon as the couple settle into the castle, Dracula takes Ericka hostage and forces Frankenstein to create a slave using his uncle’s lab equipment. Frankenstein builds the monster and imbues it with life. However the monster goes apesh*t and tosses the fiance out the window (I’m not kidding). Frankenstein begs Dracula to save her and so he calls The Werewolf.
The werewolf attacks Ericka, then takes her to a gypsy camp run by Maleva and her son Bela (the two gypsies from the original Universal Wolf Man movie). Ericka discovers a pentagram on her hand and remembers a werewolf poem, “Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night may be become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon is shining bright”. Yes, apparently Ericka has been turned to a werewolf. Of course, at that moment, the full moon comes out from behind some clouds and Ericka turns into a wolf and engages in a battle with another giant werewolf. Bela shoots the other giant wolf and it turns back into Maleva. As a wolf, Ericka flees and somehow finds her way back to the Castle Dracula.
And so, we now are told that blonde Ted Nugent is officially Dracula, even though we pretty much guessed it the moment we saw and heard the character speak. So Dracula gets into a pretty awesome fight with the Frankenstein monster, then wolf Ericka shows up and joins the fracas. Soon, Dracula transforms into a bat and flees the battle. The castle catches on fire when the fleeing Dracula knocks over some candles. The wolf Ericka recognizes her fiance and helps him to escape the burning castle. They get outside just as the castle collapses to the ground. Ericka turns back into herself and Frankenstein realizes it was her all along. He consoles her saying he knows another doctor who can cure werewolfism (Frankenstein can’t?). Then they walk off in the distance arm and arm. And we don’t learn if Dracula or Frankenstein survived the fire.
The story is pretty good, considering. I like how they combined all the monsters into one story instead of having three separate stories. The artwork is awesome, of course, thanks to the always reliable Neal Adams. Definitely worth a read/listen.
The next year, Power Records would release a set of Marvel Monsters book and record sets. It would feature separate releases for Dracula, Wolfman, Monster of Frankenstein and Man-Thing.
All were based on the Marvel Comics incarnations of the monsters.
That’s our first entry in AWESOME-tober-fest 2011. Tomorrow I continue comic book week with a look at an odd interpretation of Dracula. As a super hero.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.