The Essence of… Character Abuse by Ping Teo

Dear Fiction Writers,

Please leave Dracula alone.

While I understand that Dracula is the big D of the blood-sucking community, and naturally everyone wants their creations to face off against our famous Transylvanian count, it’s getting really irritating to see Dracula dying and resurrecting and then dying again all over the place.

Look, I can accept that in your version of the story Messrs. Van Helsing, Godalming, Morris, Seward, and the Harkers didn’t do their jobs properly the first time round. (Incidentally, if you don’t know who the above are, throw away the manuscript for your story as you have no business mangling a character you haven’t done research about.) I can accept there being some sort of loophole by which dear old D managed to reassemble himself after having his throat cut and heart pierced and body disintegrated etc. I can accept that some sort of ancient artifact exists that will bring the (un)dead back to life and some idiot decided that a bloodthirsty nobleman was a great candidate to test it out on.

But at the rate he keeps cropping up to re-take over the world is getting no less than a little annoying. It stopped being acceptable in fantasy literature years ago to have a mysterious wizard with a pointy hat named [insert name here] the [insert color here] coming into some clueless peasant’s life and dragging him along for an epic adventure. It really shouldn’t be any more acceptable every time there’s an evil vampire rising up to take over the world his name happens to be Dracula.

Similarly you can keep away from his descendants too. While I have no doubt that with three mistresses* he must have been quite the stud and produced plenty of offspring, I find it odd how his offspring tend to a) be evil b) have a magnetic attraction to getting in trouble with people whose last names tend to be Harker, Godalming, and Seward. Or with some poor sot who had an uncle or teacher whose name was Van Helsing.

Don’t get me started on the Van Helsings. Apparently hunting vampires must be a genetic thing, since so many of his descendants seem to devote their lives to hunting down Dracula’s descendants in secret societies and such. I have to say it’s amazing that they’re so devoted to their vocation over the years. My grandfather ran a bicycle shop. I mess around with computers. Worlds apart.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a vampire in your comic to face off to. But it would be nice if, once in a while, someone gave Dracula a rest or something.

Just because he’s an evil vampire doesn’t mean we have to be mean to him all the time, you know.

In Jest,

*Known. Goodness knows how many others he kept while touring the world.


  1. This makes me very glad I decided to introduce my own evil vampire, Vincent. Now to buy time until his eventual resurrection…

  2. While we’re at it can we all please stop making vampires such whiney little teen angst driven pussies? I am thoroughly sick to death of the “woe is me, my immortal soul pines longingly for the desolate angst of my lonely fjords” vampires that Anne Rice has cursed us all with. Vampires used to be scary as hell, now it seems the worst they do is remove you from their friends-list on Live Journal. I am completely and thoroughly bored with the whole angstpire genre.

    If you want to read a really good vampire series I’d suggest the Avatars series by
    Peter Lloyd. This guy nailed vampires in his book, and his wire-eye zombies are freaking creepy as hell too.

  3. Word. I was going to put that in the letter too, but I thought it better to stick to one topic.

    While I admire Anne Rice for tackling the vampire topic from a different point of view, I did find Interview with the Vampire rather infuriatingly long-winded and whiny.

    Since we’re recommending vampire books may I recommend I am Legend by Richard Matheson? It really gave me back faith in using vampires as the focus of a story.

  4. Are you recommending the original book (published in 1954) or the comic? The book kicked my ass – I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read the recent comic adaptation, but a friend said it bored him to tears.

    And, of course, there’s always the famous film adaptation, The Omega Man. (There was another, earlier one, called The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price, that never achieved the same level of cult status.) Omega Man is almost a completely different story. Watching the movie won’t wreck the book or vice versa. Despite being really REALLY dated, I think the movie holds up nearly as well as the book in terms of creepiness.

    Kelly J. Cooper
    Comixpedia Editor

  5. Oh the book, definitely. When I friend introduced it to me, I was so engrossed when reading it in the Tube I nearly missed my stop!

    I suppose I’m showing my print comic ignorance again that I didn’t even know that it was a comic book series as well, but perhaps ignorance is bliss sometimes

  6. to do a bad dracula storyline in my webcomic, sending up everyone else doing it. Got any links to webcomics using the Dracula shtick?

  7. Well, there’s always Dracula… It’s basically an adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel, with anthropomorphic animals.

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