Tentacle Tuesday: Dracula Drops In

« Kate’s death scream gags stillborn in her throat as the tentacles dart toward her, slithering hungrily across her body. »

Here’s a quick association exercise: as fast as you can, name words that come to mind when somebody says “Dracula”. Um, fangs! Stake! Blood, cape, biting! … Tentacles? Say what?

It would have never occurred to me to look for tentacles in Dracula, giant-size or otherwise, so thanks to admin RG for this splendid suggestion.

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Giant-Size Dracula no. 2 (September 1974). Cover by Pablo Marcos.

You’re not sure those green things were tentacles? If it quacks like a duck, it may well be an aquatic bird – and if it slithers towards female “human flesh”, count it as tentacles! Call Them Triad… Call Them Death! is scripted by Chris Claremont, pencilled by Don Heck and inked by Frank McLaughlin. I have to say that the art is distinctly subpar, as far as I’m concerned.

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The writing isn’t brilliant, either.

Words are inadequate”.

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Perhaps it’s the drab colours that weigh this down, and the original art would be a considerable improvement? Nope, sorry.

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As further example of the ineptitude of this art team, a quick question: does this look like he’s slapping her?

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She was lying face down, but she somehow manages to flip over instantly.

However, I have no wish to engage in Don Heck bashing – he had his moments, it’s just that this story wasn’t one of them. Instead, I will direct you to this article explaining how Harlan Ellison mocked Heck once upon a time, several lifetimes ago. Also, ouch.

Harlan Ellison: There are guys who’ve got very minimal talents and it doesn’t matter whether they corrupt it or not. I could name them and would happily name them, but why bother? There’s no sense kicking cripples. I mean, all you have to do is open up comic books from Marvel and DC and take a look at them. You see these guys have a very minor-league talent and, to say, “Well, these people are wasting their talent” is ridiculous. I mean, they’re never going to be any better. What’s the name of the guy who used to do… over at Marvel… he use to do… [Pause]… the worst artist in the field.

Continuing our foray into Draculas of colossal proportions tangling with tentacles…

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Giant Size Dracula no. 4 (March 1975). Cover pencilled by Gil Kane and inked by Tom Palmer.

Sadly, the tentacles promised on the cover don’t really appear in the cover story. Time to move to another series —

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Tomb of Dracula no. 62 (January 1978), pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer.

What Lurks Beneath Satan’s Hill? (tentacles, obviously) is scripted by Marv Wolfman, pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer.

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This has been scanned from the reprint, which in my opinion looks worse, not better.

The story continues in number 63 –

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Tomb of Dracula no. 63 (March 1978). Cover pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer.

The Road to Hell! is scripted by Marv Wolfman, pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer:

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« All-you-can-eat-calamari — dive in! »

Next up (eventually), an equally random concept: Werewolf VS tentacles!

∼ ds