By Todd Allen

One of the nice things about being around a large library system is being able to take a flier on a graphic novel you might not otherwise pick up.  Not too long ago, I happened up Vol. 1-3 of Dracula: The Company of Monsters on the shelf and figured “it’s Kurt Busiek… how bad could it be?”  I picked up the first volume and ended up going back the next day for the rest of the set.

When I first saw the title, I thought this was going to be some sort of monster team-up.  It isn’t  the “Company of Monster” is a witty way of describing one of the villains of the piece: an actual company.  With all the news coverage of corporate scandals and ethics breaches, Busiek has positioned a company (or at least the executive suite and assorted ladder climbers) as a monster.

In broad strokes, as the family business is struggling, the fellow running it decides he needs to raise Dracula from the grave, bend him to his will, and use the lord of the vampire’s powers to influence the minds of mere mortals to cut some favorable deals.  At least that where it starts, and the best laid plans of mice and men tend to go astray pretty quickly when the involve Dracula.  This is a more business-y Dracula than I’m accustomed to seeing.  His statesman past is emphasized and his promises are binding.  A charming monster whose teeth are saved for when they’re needed.

The corporate angle may sound a little goofy, but it’s a quick moving story with just enough snark about Gordon Gekko-tendencies to give you a smile here and there.  I’d put this in the category of very well done bubblegum, rather than an epic.  There’s subtext to it, but it’s more of a romp.

The writing is by Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory.  My understanding is Busiek outlined the tale and Gregory fleshed it out into scripts.  The art is by Scott Godlewski and Damian Couceiro.

I could tell you more about, but why not just go have a look for yourself.  Boom! put the first tpb  online.  The story starts here.  Give it 20 pages or so.

This title went under my radar when it was in monthly format, but that website is a good way revisit a fun comic that should have fared a little better.


  1. This serie was simply the best take on vampires at that time (way better than American Vampire). It’s a shame it did not made it after issue 12 because you can see that there was a lot of subplots, characters and interactions begging to have more issues to be developped further.
    And the art was really good, from both of the two ongoing switching pencillers.

  2. One of scariest Dracula scenes in the movies was in “Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein” where Dracula says “excuse me” with a sincere friendly smile with no hint of malice.

  3. Daryl Gregory is an extremely under-appreciated talent. His Planet of the Apes stuff (a franchise I care absolutely nothing about) is pretty great, too.

  4. Would like to chime in here and give this a HUGE positive rating. This is one of the first comics series I followed as a digital download.
    It works incredibly well on my iPhone, with the timing and elements of Suspense. To my surprise this worked exactly as Tomb of Dracula worked for me. It’s Best read as segments during lightning storms! That extra thunderbolt clap as you read the frames just sends chills down my spine.

    Busiek’s premise of corporate raiders wanting the powers of the Lord of the Undead just resonates with the times.

    Five out of Five FANGs!!!

  5. Just finished the first online issue and it seems to borrow heavily from Marv Wolfman’s idea (and later, from the Coppola film) that the fictional Dracula from Stoker’s tale is the same as the historical one, but then it goes off on its own. Really well done.

    Not sure I would classify this as “well-done bubblegum”.

  6. YerP ! Another positive vote over here. Better than it might sound . One of my more recent favorites.