What happens when you take a horror icon, place him in the hands of an innovative comic book writer, and bring him to life with four amazing artists? You get an engrossing and exciting book like Dracula World Order, created by Ian Brill (Darkwing Duck) with art by Tonci Zonjic (Who Is Jake Ellis?), Rahsan Ekedal (Echoes), Declan Shalvey (Dark Avengers), and Gabriel Hardman (Exile on the Planet of the Apes).
In Dracula World Order, Dracula has joined forces with the 1% to take over the world–by turning them into vampires and feeding on the 99%! He’s amassed so much power over the centuries that it seems like nothing or no one can stop him, until his own son takes a stand against him by taking the reins of the remnants of a failed revolution!
Dracula World Order was a comic we could not put down, and we’re proud to be the only online source of the book, produced in a limited run of just 300 copies. Read our in-depth interview with creator Ian Brill, check out our four-page preview (one page from each artist), and order your copy today!
TFAW: Hi Ian, thanks for answering our burning questions. So why Dracula, and why now?
Ian Brill: The concepts of Dracula and vampires have us confront ideas of greed and power. Who is dominant and who is submissive: the person with the blood or the person who wants it?
I wanted to tell a story about the imbalance of power in the world and the struggle that is then born of that inequality. Dracula sprang to mind as the best character to use, as so much of the vampire myth involves them being both foes and something to be admired. I believe that is how many in the world see wealth and wealthy people: with both contempt and a desire to join their ranks. I saw vampires as a way to explore all these notions I saw around me.
TFAW: What made you decide to self-publish this book, instead of taking it to a publisher?
IB: I wanted to challenge myself in every way on this project. First and foremost was to challenge myself to tell something original, then to challenge myself to tell a story that would live up to the vast talents of my collaborators. I also knew that if I was going to devote myself to all aspects of publishing, I would have to tell a story I really believed in and was proud of. So to compel my creative self, my business self had to really step up. This way, I knew I would push myself to create something I know has the effort and care put into it to capture an audience’s attention.
TFAW: You’ve gotten so many incredible artists for this book–is the multi-artist approach going to continue in the future?
IB: I’m toying with lots of ideas regarding this. No set decisions yet. I will say that Dracula World Order is designed to be malleable in its presentation. You have characters that have lived for centuries and have traveled all over the globe. I can tell long stories, short stories, epic stories, small personal stories, and really run the gamut. I am interested in what different artists bring to the table, which is an endless source of fascination to me.
TFAW: Why did you select each of these artists: Tonci Zonjic, Rahsan Ekedal, Declan Shalvey, and Gabriel Hardman?
IB: I had worked with them all when I was an editor at BOOM! Studios and loved the experience with all four. I’m such a fan of all their work I wanted to see if I could create something worthy of their immense abilities. To include them on this project would give me impetus to make Dracula World Order as good as I could make it. I tailored each story in the book to be something I knew each individual artist would execute well, and my expectations were more than exceeded.
TFAW: So far, this looks like a classic take on Dracula set in the modern world–I especially liked your references to the 1% vs. the 99%. How did this idea develop?
IB: At first I just wanted to tell a story of a world overtaken by Dracula, with freedom fighters staging a revolution. When I tried to figure out how Dracula took over the world, I injected my observations and fears of a world of where economic imbalance has run rampant. It resonated with me, perhaps it will resonant with others as well, and I decided to develop the story around that angle.
TFAW: Tell us about Dracula’s son.
IB: I wanted an antagonist to Dracula, and a hero to our story, that would as compelling as our villain. When our villain is a character that has lived for centuries in the public consciousness and is known the world over, that’s a tall order. The idea that Dracula has offspring has been played in vampire stories I enjoyed (I first encountered the idea in Castlevania III for the NES, with the character of Alucard). I decided to create a character, Alexandru, who would have a compelling connection to Dracula. In the comic, he is the only child of Dracula whom Dracula has been close with, due to the death of Alexandru’s mother. He was Dracula’s right-hand man for centuries, which gives him plenty of important knowledge to use in his fight.
TFAW: What triggered his rebellion against his father?
IB: His actions are borne of tragic circumstances. His mother killed herself, which Alexandru witnessed. That created this impurity of belief in Alexandru. He served under Dracula for most of his life, but he knows the pain that Dracula causes all too well. When he sees it up close during a fateful battle with vampire hunters he decides to change the world.
TFAW: So far, we’ve seen Dracula, vampire hunters, and a reference to Frankenstein. What other old-school horror treats are in store?
IB: There is line in the [Bram] Stoker novel, “every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool.” I do believe it is possible to spin out all these different types of monster and horror ideas from Dracula. I’m interested in the metaphors and mythos of these concepts, and enjoy having the strength of these ideas flow into the overall concept.
TFAW: What are your plans for this book? Will it continue?
IB: There are a lot of options for creators today, and I am considering many these days. I am committed to continuing this story.
We want to thank Ian Brill for the great interview! Make sure to pick up your copy of Dracula World Order before we sell out, and stay tuned for further announcements!
Are you interested in a new take on Dracula? Post your comments below!