The vile plague of Orlok, the Nosferatu stretches across history, from Dark Ages Europe into modern-day NYC in this compelling prelude and sequel to the classic F.W. Murnau film, Nosferatu.
We spoke with writer, Mark Ellis about the comic.
The Big Bad Wolf: Can you give our readers a synopsis of Nosferatu: Plague of Terror?
Mark Ellis: The four-chapter graphic novel tells the tale of Sir William Longsword and his pursuit of Baron Orlock across 700 years of history, from 11th Century Europe to 19th Century India to 20th Century Vietnam and finally to present day Brooklyn…through it all are scenes of horror, war and pestilence.
The Big Bad Wolf: Baron Orlock is one of the most recognized horror characters around. With that being said, did you feel any extra pressure adding your take on this character’s history?
Quite the opposite, actually—when I first conceived of the project, I wanted to present Baron Graf Orlock as his own character, completely apart from Count Dracula. In the past when Orlock has been portrayed, most of the time he’s shown as little more than Dracula with a name change.
I gave him a backstory and a personality distinctly different from Dracula’s...in my mind, if Dracula is the Lord of Vampires, then Orlock is the Father of Vampires.
The Big Bad Wolf: Let's talk about the prelude first...In what year does this story pick up?
The main plotline begins in contemporary times. The story’s protagonist, Dr. Bronwyn Callan, finds the journal of Sir William Longsword and reads how he and his squire, Otrano returned from the Crusades in 1260 and came to the Carpathian castle of Orlock. They found the area around the castle devastated by the bubonic plague.
The Big Bad Wolf: Will this book show how Baron Orlock became a vampire?
Not as such, but there are definitely allusions in the first chapter that Orlock is a creature of ancient evil and far more than just a vampire.
The Big Bad Wolf: The townsfolk were terrified of the Baron. Will you show why they fear going anywhere near his castle at night?
In Nosferatu: Plague of Darkness, we show that Orlock was so feared, his estate was taken over by an order of nuns so they could guard his underground vault and make sure he could never be freed. No townsfolk went near his castle, day or night.
The Big Bad Wolf: About the sequel...
In the Nosferatu film, Baron Orlock is disintegrated by the sun. Will this book show his resurrection?
Again, not as such but there are allusions to how he was resurrected and his method of immortality.
The Big Bad Wolf: Will we see whatever happened to Orlock’s castle in the Carpathian Mountains?
Not exactly…I didn’t want to go over the ground that had been already been dealt with in other versions. Therefore, the events of the movie are squeezed in between a couple of pages in Chapter Two.
The Big Bad Wolf: What can we expect from this book in terms of blood and gore?
Well…it’s fair to say the blood and gore content are pretty much at the R-rated level...beheadings, amputations, lots and lots of rat bites and plague victims.
The Big Bad Wolf: When is the release date?
July 2009, hopefully as early in the month as possible.
The Big Bad Wolf: How much is the book?
$16.99...it's 130 pages and contains several bonus features, too.
The Big Bad Wolf: Who’s the rest of the creative team on the book?
Rik Levins, who probably drew more issues of Captain America than any other artist, Richard Pace who drew the New Warriors for Marvel and the late Frank Turner who is probably best known for his work on Marvel’s Nightstalkers. It’s a great artistic team if I say so myself.
The Big Bad Wolf: Where can our readers find out more about Nosferatu: Plague of Terror?
They can visit http://www.transfuzion.biz/TITLES/Nosferatu.htm and they can see a preview of the first chapter at: http://www.comicspace.com/markaxlerellis/
The Big Bad Wolf: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about Nosferatu:
Plague of Terror?
The graphic novel portrays the folkloric vampire which is something that has only been rarely done in comics. It wasn’t until Bela Lugosi began playing Dracula on stage that the image of a vampire as a suave aristocrat supplanted that of a savage, inhuman fiend who spreads death and disease. In the old legends, vampirism was often associated with outbreaks of plague.
For that matter, the word Nosferatu is derived from the Greek word, Nosphorous, which means "plague bringer."
The very physical appearance Orlock implies that he is something more than just another blood-drinking creature of the night and the graphic novel really drives that point home.
There’s a philosophical thread running through Nosferatu: Plague of Terror…suggesting that you don’t have to be one of the undead to be a monster.
The Big Bad Wolf: Thank you for your time,
Mark! Best of luck with Nosferatu!
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