Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Fang Graphic Novel Review


Review
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Kostas Zachopoulos

Art and Cover By
Christos Martinis

Published By
AAM / Markosia

Genre
Horror, Adventure

Synopsis

Dracula never died in Europe.

His remains lie deep in the belly of Erebus, a ship ready to depart an English port. No one can explain the disappearance of sailors as they arrive in New York, a brave new world governed by anonymity. Soon word of the Vampire legend spreads and reaches England, where the fellowship of hunters gets to hear of it.

And the hunt resumes.

Review

I've read a hell of a lot of vampire stories and especially Dracula related stories.  Some have been absolutely fantastic and others, well, others not so much.

I'd heard quite a few things about this title.  Lots of reviews noted how amazing the art was and some reviews talked about the writing giving a new spin on the legend but would it hook me in?

Well, that's a definite yes from this vampire fan right here.  The story itself really did give the often told tale of Dracula a new leash of life.  I absolutely loved the fact that this graphic novel continues the Dracula story and asks loads of questions.  What if the vampire legend hadn't died in Europe?  What if he was running rampant in New York?

All these questions are answered and more.  The intelligent writing and pacing really makes the story leap off of the page in all it's bloody glory.  There are twists and turns galore that really hooked me in.  The part that shines the most for me writing wise is the dialogue.  The realistic tone of the dialogue, in particular Dracula himself, really did succeed in giving me the chills and did a fantastic job in creating an air of horror and dread that ran through the entire graphic novel.  Zachopoulos has really crafted a brilliant addition to the vampire genre without falling in to the cliched traps that a lot of other releases fall prey to.

The art here is truly brilliant.  In fact, the rather unique, almost painting like quality to the art really pushes forward the action and the characters in this story.  When the stuff hits the fan to coin a phrase, the art positively explodes off of the page.  I would normally skip through a book with loads of blood and gore yet this one manages to not go over the top yet does so while looking like a series of illustrations that wouldn't look out of place in an exhibit.  Martinis is a truly brilliant talent and definitely one to keep an eye on.

If I hadn't have been offered the chance to review this, I'm not sure I would have picked it up.  That's not because of the writing or the art, it was just because I've felt a bit burnt out on the vampire genre.  Yet here, Zachopoulos and Martinis have crafted such an interesting and strangely beautiful take on the genre that I would be very surprised if this didn't end on some end of the year best of lists.

Story 8.5/10
Art 9/10
Cover 9/10
Recommended 8.5/10
Overall 35/40

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