Matt Wagner & Kelley Jones’s Dracula: Watch the Trailer

Iconic Grendel and Mage creator Matt Wagner will team with Kelley Jones, the beloved artist behind DC’s Batman & Dracula: Red Rain for a new, graphic novel expansion on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The story, which will launch tomorrow on crowdfunding site Kickstarter with Dracula – Book 1: The Impaler, seeks to fill in the gaps in the original life story of literature’s most notorious vampire. The first book “explores Dracula’s bloody history and his tenure at Satan’s legendary seminary of the dark arts, the Scholomance,” according to a press release.

For their first ever major collaboration, Wagner and Jones are launching a Kickstarter campaign with their brand-new company, Orlok Press (named for the vampire in Nosferatu). To receive an email when the project launches, head to Kickstarter and click on the pre-launch page.

“The first graphic novel explores what led Dracula to seek out Satan’s tutelage and how he became the lord of the undead,” explains writer Matt Wagner. “This project is a real labor of love for Kelley and I,” Wagner said in a statement. “We are enormous fans of Dracula and the many interpretations of his mythic story. Our version of Dracula is bloody, sexy, and monstrous; this is very much a horror story, with deep roots in Stoker’s novel. But this isn’t yet another retelling of the novel in comics form. We’re bringing you the never-before told stories behind the story…the sinister tales hidden in the shadows of the original novel.”

“Matt Wagner has been a great friend of mine for over thirty years and I always regretted that we never got to collaborate on something together and told him that many times,” said Kelley Jones. “I love Dracula from the novel on down and, after our first conversations about this project, I knew that Matt would tell the tale no one had told before and no one would ever forget. Being able to bring this to life has been the most rewarding achievement in my career and I think it shows.”

Dracula: Book 1: The Impaler achieves what seems impossible: to present the vampire in a fresh way that is at the same time deeply rooted in its true bloody origins,” said colorist Jos? Villarrubia. “Wagner and Jones are pulling no punches here, with an aesthetic harking back to the Giallo films of the sixties. Prepare to be amazed!”

“Master storytellers Matt Wagner and Kelley Jones have rendered Dracula as never before experienced,” added letterer Rob Leigh. “If you’re half as entertained devouring this tale as I was lettering it, you’re in for a wonderfully wicked treat.”

“I’ve been at the forefront of the indie comics scene for over forty years. And Kelley has carved a popular mainstream niche with his uniquely individual style,” Wagner explained. “So launching this project via Kickstarter seems like the perfect fit for maintaining that mutual spirit of independence. Kelley and I are insanely proud of this project and can’t wait for our readers to see and enjoy our take on this infamous antagonist who has transcended all boundaries to become one of the most famous fictional characters the world has ever known…the vampire lord, DRACULA!”

The pre-launch page for Dracula: Book 1: The Impaler is now live on Kickstarter.