Comic Book Preview: Anno Dracula 1895 – Seven Days in Mayhem #1

Over the years reviewing various books and comics, one of my favorite fictional characters is Anno Dracula created by author Kim Newman.  Now for the first time, Mr. Newman steps into the comic book world with Anno Dracula 1895 – Seven Days in Mayhem #1 with artist Paul McCaffrey.  I’m really excited about this vampire series.  If it’s anything like the many Anno Dracula novels, this should be a fun ride.

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Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories

annodracula1899Over the years of reviewing various novels and comics for Retrenders, I’ve enjoyed reading the many tales of Kim Newman’s vampire creation Anno Dracula and world of characters around him.  “Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories” is a collection of short stories to get fans primed for the upcoming novel Anno Dracula 1899: Daikaiju.  Not only that, Titan Comics will kick-off a brand new Anno Dracula series by author Kim Newman and art by Paul McCaffrey launching in March 2017.

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Buffy is Back!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - CastNo there’s not a reboot, nor do we pick-up twelve years after Sunnydale High, but the past time television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is going to air on ABC Family beginning June 22nd.

For those of you that never caught the series on television, it became a popular cult hit with teens, college students and anyone that simply craved a show with mystery, ancient rituals and myths, vampire fighting and slaying, to finding love, and on top of that – yes, dusting off an ancient relic of a book in order to research a spell cast, or find an antidote to a curse.

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The Art & Making of Penny Dreadful

pennydreadfulartbookI have to admit I only started watching this hit Showtime series only for Eva Green (Casino Royale, 300: Rise of an Empire), but I stayed for for the story and characters driving the “Penny Dreadful” program.  We are already knee-deep into the second season and Titan Books has just released “The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful”, the official companion book to the program.


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Halloween Action Figures with ReAction

reactionfiguresIf you grew up in 1980s and remember those old school Kenner-style 3 3/4″ action figures with nostalgia, then you have it here with the Super 7 x Funko:  ReAction line-up.  I already bought a couple of these action figures from my favorite films.


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The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

castlevaniaOne hit video game franchise that has left on mark on video game history and players is Konami’s Castlevania.  I remember playing Super Castlevania 4 on the SNES and boy, did it make an impression on me.  Konami seeing the Castlevania series lose steam with fans over years, decided to let video game studio MercurySteam re-imagine and re-invent the game to a new audience.  With the sequel Lords of Shadow 2 just released in stores, here is a look at Titan Books – The Art of Castlevania – Lords of Shadow.

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Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman

annodraculajohnnyThe trend in Hollywood, comics and print these days are stories with vampires.  One popular series is by creator and award-winning author Kim Newman with his Anno Dracula character.  Johnny Alucard is the fourth novel in this series and is set right after the third book, Anno Dracula:  Dracula Cha Cha Cha.

The story kicks off in 1976 Romania countryside, where Franics Ford Coppola is shooting his epic Dracula film with Hollywood stars like Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Harvey Kitel and Harrison Ford.  Our vampire vixen Kate Reed is on set as a consultant and from there, Kate and Coppola befriend a young vampire named Ion Popescu.  After a couple of months, the trouble production is finished filming, Ion looks to America.

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Interview with Anno Dracula author Kim Newman

annodraculajohnnyThe fan favorite vampire series Anno Dracula returns!  Author Kim Newman recently released his latest Anno Dracula novel – Johnny Alucard that takes place from 1976-1991.  Retrenders interviews author Kim Newman about his new book – Johnny Alucard and what the future holds for this popular Dracula series.


RTNDR:  The universe of Anno Dracula and the characters you’ve created is very popular and many fans enjoy this series, so with this new book Johnny Alcuard, did you set out thinking, “Well, the fans might enjoy it if this character or that character goes through this plotline or this journey” or did you already have your own ideas and had everything mapped out?

KIM:  I plot books – and, in this case, series  – by a method known as ‘feeling your way in the dark’. I usually know where I’m going with a story but not the exact route I’ll get there.  I hope readers enjoy where I take the characters (and them) but tend to think of what the story needs rather than what people want – indeed, sometimes you have to go against expectations or wishes.  In this case, the book was written piecemeal over decades – the first chunk of it was done before the third novel in the series – and I always knew the spine was where a particular character went, though the details were developed during the composition and I think I surprised myself. 

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