The Hidden S in Halloween

The Hidden S has a Halloween Treat for you… As most fans of popular culture know, the Dracula character from Bram Stoker’s original novel was directly inspired by a 15th century devil on earth Prince Vlad Dracula, better known perhaps by his nickname Vlad the Impaler. Vlad ruled Wallachia (which consisted mostly of what has become modern day Romania) in the 15th century and got his nickname due to his nasty habit of impaling his enemies on a stake. Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, the best selling team responsible for the award winning 9/11 report: A Graphic Adaptation have turned their attention to a different kind of horror for their most recent graphic novel collaboration Vlad The Imapler (Hudson St. Press). Both men (well known for their versatility) have worked on and/or created such properties as Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Doctor Doom during their prolific careers. Omnicomic was lucky enough to interview both gentlemen about their most recent work, how the 9/11 report figured in this work and how the approach to this differed from their approach to Richie Rich… Omnicomic: Is Vlad misunderstood or is he 100% evil? Sid Jacobson: My guess is that Vlad was pretty close to the devil. This despite the fact that he is still looked at as a hero in Romania . He held the throne for awhile against what they considered the "infidel." Even though the so-called "infidel" helped him and his father get the throne. He did an awful lot of evil things, even for such an evil time. Ernie Colon: All evildoers, as any superhero will tell you, are acolytes of the devil. Omnicomic: Vlad seems to be a much more violent and warrior type character than Dracula, yet by all accounts Dracula was a direct inspiration from the Life and Times of Prince Vlad. Knowing both stories is it easy to see the connection? Jacobson: I think it's pretty easy to see the connection between Vlad and Dracula. They both were experts at blood-letting, but it's taken the vampire lots, lots longer to even approach Vlad's tonnage of blood. Colon: I don't know--Vlad seems to have spent a lot of time regarding himself in a mirror. Dracula had a lot of missing spots when he shaving. Omnicomic: This work is pretty violent in its content and imagery. Is there a secret to making violent writing and images palpable for a reader? Colon: Please! You're talking about Sid Jacobson, purveyor of many Richie Rich kidnappings, mad scientist plots for world rule and questionable human/robot relationships. Go ahead--ask him. Jacobson: If there is a secret to make violence writing and images palpable for a reader, I certainly do not know it. But I hope that what we did here is both palpable and entertaining for the reader. Omnicomic: There is a romantic element that has been projected onto the Dracula character of late. Is there any romantic dimension to Vlad the Impaler? Jacobson: I think Dracula and present day vampires somehow seem sexy and romantic to lots of readers. Our book has used sexy scenes more to show the man's violence and thoughtless appetite. Is that romantic? I don't know. Colon: Romance? You consider ultimate neck-nibbling romance? Or terminal sodomy? (Author’s note: I would have to say no to both) Omnicomic: Is there a connection or influence that you see between comic book supervillans and Vlad? Jacobson: There is probably some connection between Vlad and some comic super villains, but they're pussycats by comparison. Colon: Maybe their penchant for costly, swirling capes, perhaps? Posing in lighted doorways, arms akimbo and eyebrows impossibly arched? Omnicomic: Was there anything in your work on The 9/11 Report that connected to Vlad the Impaler? Jacobson: The 9/11 Report was quite different from Vlad the Impaler. In that previous book, we tried to explain something that was already written and make it easier to comprehend. I suppose we tried to make this character easier to understand, too, but to do so by creating a fictional graphic novel that was based on many facts but creating a story that we thought was possibly true. Colon: Not a thing for me. Omnicomic: You worked on some pretty wholesome stuff in the past like Richie Rich?. Was it cathartic to work on a something so completely different? Jacobson: Yes, we worked on Richie Rich and Casper and characters with younger and more lighthearted appeal. But before I worked on those characters, I edited Harvey 's horror and war line. I edited such titles as Chamber of Chills, Tomb of Terror, Witches' Tales, Warfront and War Battles. Ernie worked on some of the superhero characters of DC's line. So this wasn't entirely new for us. But was it cathartic? Not at least for me. It was just another way to express myself. Colon: The only catharsis is seeing villains hoisted by their own petard--preferably by their privates. (Photos courtesy of penguin)