Nosferatu (Viper Comics – Wolf / Wayne / Nieto)
“Nosferatu” is a dark, edgy tale inspired by the film of the same name. This modern spin on the timeless horror story follows Tommy and her roommate Elle as the nefarious vampire Count Orlok draws them into his obsession with death and disease. Old-world magic combines with technology and terror alerts when Orlok, the Nosferatu, pays our shores a visit.
In pop culture (TV, films, books even comics) there are “firsts”. These “firsts” are the ones that opened the door, they set the stage, they help create a genre, they are the benchmark for other creative forces to rise above. Nosferatu as a film was one of these “firsts”, released in 1922, it is credited as the first horror / thriller film and was the first moving picture adaptation of Dracula. And while almost 90 years later, if you watched it, you might laugh and think of it as glorified cheese (as my daughters did) – the film had a huge impact and the iconic scene of Orlok’s shadow moving up the stairs horrified the masses in it’s day. When I saw that Indie press Viper Comics was doing an updated modern version of this beloved and milestone of a film, I knew it would either capture the spirit of the original vision or it would go over-board and be an entire flop. Well, I believe the writer Chris Wolf has hit the proverbial nail on the head and his updated version would be something that would make the original creative team behind the film proud. It could even create a renewed buzz about the original movie.
The story by Chris Wolf is strong and his modernization fits the bill. His translation flows well. And while the characters are pop culture arch-types, there are not driven by stereotype – the reader believes them in their roles, words and actions. Wolf does an excellent job of adding details and moving the plot along so that this grandfather of all pulp stories is not characterized by all of the regular negative factors associated with the genre (predictability, stilted monologues, melodramatic heroics), and overall feels nothing like a pulp adventure and more like an action-horror. However, I feel I can call this a pulp book because of the packaging brought together by the art team of Justine Wayne and Sai Nieto. Their art is great – the backgrounds are subtle but complete, Orlok is much cooler here than in the original film version and the two main females leads (while never going beyond a PG-13 rating) are gothic hotties and in more than one scene are all over each other… it is this well done eye-candy that moves Viper’s Nosferatu clearly into “pulp” country again.
This is a self-contained 122 page quality book for $9.95, pretty rare in today’s market.
Comes out in November!
The Bottom Line: A great adventure for the high school reader and older that does both the orignal film and independent comic industry proud!