One of the projects that recently caught our eye at The Convention Collective was a fully illustrated novel that reimagines Bram Stoker’s classic ghost story, DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA. The release is from Ricardo Delgado who has quite a resume in Hollywood, having been the storyboard artist and character designer for films including APOLLO 13, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, THE INCREDIBLES, MEN IN BLACK, and WALL-E.
The Kickstarter has already launched (just in time for the 90th anniversary of the release of Universal Studios’ Dracula), and has easily met it’s goal. There are quite a few different options available, so check out the Kickstarter!
Recently we were given the chance to interview Ricardo about his career and the DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA project.
THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: You have worked on an impressive array of Hollywood movies including JURASSIC PARK III, MEN IN BLACK, and the two MATRIX sequels as well as animated movies like THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, THE INCREDIBLES, and WALL-E. What is your favorite movie that you worked on and is there a signature scene that you helped shape?
Ricardo Delgado: Well if I had to list the top three they would be MEN IN BLACK, THE INCREDIBLES and perhaps JURASSIC PARK III after that. I contributed in large and small ways to each of those films and I’m proud of my work on them. My role on MIB was more of a developmental artist way before production began, while the script itself was being formulated. INCREDIBLES was a big bowl of fun working from home after the MATRIX SEQUELS and I remember really well shipping my stuff up to Pixar via FEDEX before flying up there for the visual development meeting the next day. And JP3 was another big bowl of fun working with the Amblin crew again on the Universal lot. I primarily developed the Omnibot and island concepts for the former, and worked almost exclusively on the Spinosaurus sequences for the latter.
TCC: One of the things you are known for is the AGE OF REPTILES graphic novels about dinosaurs. What led you to working on a graphic novel about Dracula?
RD: Appreciate the shout of for AGE OF REPTILES! I have to say though, DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA is a new idea and direction: a prose novel with accompanying concept art. Like an ART OF STAR WARS book combined with a novel like SALEM’S LOT.
TCC: Dracula and vampires have been depicted in books and movies frequently through the years. What is different and/or new about this version of Dracula?
RD: Not like this. Not to this level. As a kid I was always frustrated with the depiction of the different forms of Dracula, and that’s no slight against those films, but what about if the bat that Dracula transformed into was not a cool for its time rubber bat but a ravenous, menacing, intimidating bat so large it could stand eye to eye with you and rip your head off in one bite? What about the idea that historical figures throughout time were actually vampires and resented Dracula’s rule over the vampiric world? You’ll get both here. What if Dracula’s brides were not subservient victims left behind to guard a castle but instead were ferocious shapeshifting predators that actually traveled to England along with Dracula to kick some Victorian (and vampiric) ass? And what about if you could see conceptual designs for all these effects, iterations and characters in one book? It’s all in this one, DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA.
TCC: Kickstarter campaigns often come with cool perks for backers. What can you tell us about the Kickstarter campaign for DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA?
RD: I love the range here, from the casual Dracula or vampire fan’s ability to do a straight download for a reasonable price to fans of my artwork being able to purchase a pretty fancy edition that comes with an original sketch of mine. Best of both worlds, really.
TCC: What are the odds of a future crossover series pitting Dracula from DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA against your dinosaurs from AGE OF REPTILES?
RD: Maybe not dinosaurs but I’ve always been fascinated by the parable off Saint George and the Dragon so we’ll see. That stated, I will reveal that the caves in Dracula’s dungeon are lined with Pleistocene art, which I thought to be a really cool idea. DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA, like nothing you’ve read before. Check it out!
Thanks for your time Ricardo!
The Kickstarter campaign for DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA is currently active and will run until March 25th, 2021.
Full press release on the campaign is below.
Acclaimed Storyteller Ricardo Delgado’s DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA is Now on Kickstarter
An All New Illustrated Novel from Clover Press, Featuring More than 20 Illustrations, Is Being Released Timed to the 90th Anniversary of Universal Pictures’ DRACULA
Featuring an Introduction by Donald F. Glut
(February 22, 2021) One of Hollywood’s leading conceptual designers, Ricardo Delgado, is about to unleash his bold and bloody take on the Prince of Darkness, just in time for the 90th anniversary of the release of Universal Studios’ Dracula. Ricardo Delgado has been the storyboard artist and character designer for films including Apollo 13, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Incredibles, Men in Black, and Wall-e, and his Age of Reptiles graphic novels are universally acclaimed for their stunning depiction of dinosaurs and prehistory. But Delgado’s latest creative endeavour may well be his most ambitious to date: a fresh and unsettling fully illustrated novel that reimagines Bram Stoker’s classic ghost story. Delgado’s novel DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA, featuring more than 20 lavish illustrations and an introduction by Donald F. Glut, is now on Kickstarter from Clover Press.
“DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA supports and builds upon Stoker’s classic, haunting original story, but this is most certainly not your parents’ Dracula or your grandparents’ Dracula,” says Delgado. “This personification of the Nosferatu king is dark and powerful, a malevolent antagonist who suffers no fools, accepts no failure and crushes anyone in his path. This Dracula is not a romantic. He’s a complete horror. Just the way I always wanted him to be.”
In DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA, the year is 1899. Young Solicitor Jonathan Harker braves ghosts, demons, living skeletons, and armies of rats—all of which pale in comparison to his encounters with Dracula of Transylvania, the Son of Satan. The demonic, shapeshifting vampire imposes his wrath, malice and vengeance upon an England about to enter the Modern Era.
“Dracula is vileness incarnate, a pure thing of Hell,” says Delgado. “He’s spent the past thousand years putting sword to flesh and tearing at the tapestry of history as the son of Satan himself. Kings, Popes and armies fear Dracula. And so should you.”
DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA is footnoted throughout with historical facts from the ancient to the modern world that bring texture to the sprawling and haunting adventure. Murder among English tombstones! Daring chases through the infamous underground Paris Ossuaries! A spectacular gladiatorial battle within Rome’s Colosseum during the Witching Hour! And finally, a fever-pitch chase through Europe to the most terrifying place on earth: Castle Dracula.
The DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA Kickstarter campaign will have multiple tiers and rewards available for backers, including signed leatherbound hardcover copies of the book, limited edition prints, original sketches, postcards, leather bookmarks, and an exclusive clamshell/bookplate.
Here’s what people are saying about DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA:
“Ricardo Delgado’s reimagining of Dracula is strange and bold and brilliantly original. I love it and WOULD be stunned by it if it wasn’t coming from Ricardo. But brilliant is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from him. Still… He may have surpassed his usual brilliance here.”
—Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy
“Ricardo Delgado does for vampires what he has done for dinosaurs! His elegant and bloody take on Stoker’s classic tale is refreshingly original and scary.”
—John Landis, Director of An American Werewolf in London and Thriller
“Dark and disturbing but so BEAUTIFUL. I am always mesmerized by his artwork, now after this, it’ll be hard to sleep. Thanks Ricardo!”
—Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Primal and Samurai Jack
“Delgado’s work always impresses. And the illustrations for his Dracula novel are yet another example of his fantastic design sense and his absolutely horrifically fucked up imagination!”—Tim Miller, director of Deadpool and Terminator: Dark Fate
“Ricardo Delgado breathes new life into the prince of the undead like he has done with every genre he has worked in!”—Geof Darrow, creator of Shaolin Cowboy, conceptual designer for The Matrix films.
“If you thought Ricardo Delgado was a great dinosaur artist…well,you’re right—he is! But with his Dracula book, Ricardo has outdone himself. He has dramatically risen to a new artistic plateau in a genre and territory previously unassociated with him. Dracula will long be remembered as a major marker in Delgado’s impressive body of work as a graphic storytelling artist. Bravo, myfriend!”—William Strout, author of The New Dinosaurs
“Stunning artwork and unforgettable prose. Delgado’s book is a must-have for every Horror and vampire fan.”—Gary Rhodes, Ph.D, author of The Birth of the American Horror Film and writer/director of Lugosi: Hollywood’s Dracula
“Delgado takes us on a wild ride as he skillfully introduces the next generation of Vampire hunters in a style reminiscent of the original Dracula novel.”— Dacre Stoker, co author of Dracula the Undead and Dracul, and great grand nephew of Bram Stoker
DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA is epic gothic storytelling with the pulse-pounding pace of the modern thriller, a cross between THE EXORCIST and the LORD OF THE RINGS. It is a brilliant and dark reenvisioning of the classic original story with a fascinating new perspective on one of literature’s most feared characters.
The DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA campaign is live now through March 25, 2021. For updates, follow Ricardo Delgado on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, follow DRACULA OF TRANSYLVANIA on Twitter, and follow Clover Press on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
To support the campaign, visit Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cloverpress/ricardo-delgados-dracula-of-transylvania