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REVIEW: The Order of Dracula

Review: The Order of Dracula

Graphic Novel (30 Page 1-Shot Horror)

Published by Heresy Studios LLC.

Created by Joseph Duis

Don Cardenas

Rebecca McConnell

Kris Busini

Review by Alain Alexander Mesa

NOTE: Not Approved by the Comics Code Authority*

I met Joseph Duis, an Independent Comic Book Creator and Owner of Heresy Studios LLC on Facebook of all places. Like myself, he is an independent cartoonist. Unlike me, he completed his full vision manifested in the graphic novel entitled "The Order of Dracula", a one-shot 30 page horror novel and the beginning of his interpretation of the legendary vampire Dracula. So I visited his publishing site, and chose to purchase my digital copy so that I didn't have to wait for the print copy to arrive in the mail. I was too impatient, and I wanted to ready this right away (lol).

I took about 2-3 days to read and take in the dark novel. What a pleasure it was to read this raw book. The artwork and render will remind you of the signature style that was presented in the original Vertigo Series: Lucifer Morningstar. The shading is dramatic, and the pencils are detailed and very much alive (or rather undead). You can tell the artist(s) had fun with every line, spec, and detail of each page's illustration. There is very little to no editing or "special effects" and what you get is a very classically drawn, raw, first layer visual experience. If you are a fan of dominant penciling, heavy inks, and a cluster of artistic lines and strokes, then your eyes will have a dark treat if you read this novel:

Now, you may believe that you've heard every Dracula story out there, or that there's not much more to tell. But Joseph is able to give you a deeper mythology than some of the books or movies you may have already seen surrounding the myth of Dracula. Dracula may be the vehicle or catalyst for the drama, but there's an entire backstory and sociopolitical atmosphere that unfolds little by little as you keep reading through the pages. The Human Conflict between the English and Irish is so intense, that is challenges even Dracula's involvement, regardless of Dracula's perspective of human beings being nothing more than "sheep" to be bred to further his own twisted purposes.

The very fact that Dracula can toy with even the most prominent human forces gives the novel a more disturbing and dangerous feel. With NO SPOILERS intended here, the ending action will shock you. If you are a fan of horror or vampiric literature, you should definitely order your copy of "The Order of Dracula", which preludes Joseph Duis' next novel "The Crusade of Dracula". The artwork and storytelling is fun, dark, disturbing, and worth the read.

My only artistic criticism would be that I may have made different typography choices in some of the dialogue bubbles, but having a background in graphic design, I will always be picky with typography (lol).

All in all, I recommend reading "The Order of Dracula". I only paid $2.99 for a full 30-page novel about this legendary character. If you visit, you have a choice between ordering the printed copy and the digital pdf. I am not sure when his next novel "The Crusade of Dracula" will be available for release, but if you'd like to support his work and see the continuation of the Dracula series, check out his site and order your copy!

- Alain Alexander Mesa

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