Monday, March 16, 2009

Dracula vs. Santa Zuda review/ How many times can you read the word 'Ho' before your mind goes into the gutter?

Dracula vs. Santa another comic in Zuda this month done by Melissa DeJesus (that woman has talent), and Ed Power who did a 'cool as hell' written script. Here is the synopsis: Santa’s home is under attack! Count Dracula has decided with its six full month of darkness that the North Pole would make a perfect headquarters (he got the idea from the movie ‘30 Days of Night’, but will NOT admit it as he thinks admitting he has a Netflix account weakens his image) and he’s gathered an army of the world’s most famous monsters to evict Christmas Town’s current residents. Now it’s elves versus vampires, flying reindeer versus werewolves, and Christmas versus Halloween as the forces of darkness and despair descend upon the bringers of joy and merriment! In the end only one holiday will be celebrating. Dracula vs. Santa: Welcome to the ‘Winter Wonderland’ of our discontent!
I have mostly high praise for this, but I did have a WTF moment reading this comic, so bad stuff first.

WTF moment/ Where was the Count, at his day job on Sesame Street???

If it says Dracula vs. Santa in the title, Dracula better damn well show up in the comic.
I know it's only 8 screens, not a lot of space to work with, but come ooooooonnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!! As I got closer and closer to screen 8, I (not being my first rodeo as far as reading Zuda goes) figured Ed and Melissa were saving up the Dracula appearance for a 1 panel cameo on the very last screen. Kind of like how they did the most God forsaken character in comics (no it's not Rob Liefield -haters) Wolverine's first cameo appearance in Incredible Hulk. It would have been a high drama note to end on, and set things up well should it win. Instead we get some elves tossed in the air, and who knows it could have been Jack O'Lantern or the Bogey man doing that. I really expected him to show up, and it was a let down he didn't.
By the way who's side is the ghost of Christmas future on?
Considering you killed off the Easter Bunny Godfather 3 tribute style, I'm interested in what the balance in the tone of the comic will be: comedic moments vs. Rudolph getting field dressed by a werewolf?

It's not a naughty list it's a shit kicking list and you do not want to be on it Vald!

Now the praise. Ed and Melissa managed to make Santa a really cool, smart, and kick-ass character. This characterization of him, kind of reminded me of the St. Nick is a fable issue of Fables. They took a well established concept -Father Christmas- and made it a fun and action filled story -Dracula being M.I.A. put aside. I liked the reindeer being curled up at Santa's feet, nice touch. first screen was a great lead in, a iconic shot, with a toymaker/Watchmen reference very well timed considering. I also wondered if this might be setting up a plot point that maybe Santa's not so good after all considering the source material. Watch those Easter egg tangents! ;) I really enjoyed the pace of the story their wasn't too many panels or too few per screen, but just right. [Yeah that's a line from the 3 bears, but it fits] I thought the art work done on the children (being naughty, or nice) was very impressive, Melissa has a easy to follow and very enjoyable style. Their are text boxes, but Ed doesn't over do it and they fit the story.

I liked the use of magical artifacts combined with modern day technology. Good beats (thanks for that Ed), to end a screen on, and move to the next screen. I love the silent bells, and I love their leader Nick Frosty, a three foot tall version of Nick Fury if their ever was one. Some reviewers are not such Frosty fans, but I really enjoyed the in joke. It enhanced the story for me with a little wink to the reader. I really enjoyed screen 4. We had of course great art, but also damn fine written dialogue between Nick (of the big gut), and Nick (of the eye-patch), with last panel foreshadowing -vampires don't show up on recording devices according to the latest White Wolf edition. On screen 6 I enjoyed Santa's silent night ring tone, and seeing the poor Easter Bunny in the last panel took away the light action whimsy feel to the story up to this point. Screen 7 really had me feeling sorry for the poor bunny. Melissa's art will melt your heart on this screen it is so expressive. The dialogue was perfect for this scene -go Ed!!! The last panel Godfather tribute with Santa's friends/employee's in the background, shows fantastic screen composition. [a side note Toykopop needs to get its corporate head out of it's corporate ass -a Sokora Refugees reference] I liked the last screen, but again where was that Dracula cameo shot?

Will St. Nick get impaled on a Christmas tree, Will the Count receive a gingerbread man shoved where the sun don't shine?

Well that's the reason you would vote for it, to find out the answers to those questions. The colors really fit the comic. Letters easy to read. The art and dialogue were really top notch. My searching for Dracula in context, this comic gets an easy 4/5 stars and a fav.

1 comment:

  1. Zuda needed to do a title change, The Highwayman curse strikes again!!! With that knowledge never mind my complaints about the title.