November 8, 2012
Bram Stoker's 165th Birthday
Bram Stoker created a legendary villain when he penned his 19th century story Dracula. Few other characters have haunted popular culture for generations as much as the eponymous Count Dracula, whose fanged face has long been a staple of haunted houses and Halloween costumes. He's also featured in at least 200 feature films since the dawn of cinema, played by such acclaimed actors as Bela Lugosi in 1931 and Gary Oldman in 1992.
An epistolary novel, Dracula is innovative in that it is a story told through diary entries, transcribed phonograph recordings, dictated essays, scholarly articles, records, reciepts, and news stories. In this way, Stoker paints a vivid picture not only of the horror of Dracula's evil power, but of the fascinating Victorian England which he terrorized.
When I set out to create this doodle, I immersed myself in the source material by reading the thoroughly well-documented annotated edition by Leslie S. Klinger. Klinger's notes served to further contextualize the story, which capitalizes on the strict Victorian moral code to spin a tale that is all the more terrifiying for how thoroughly it deviated from contemporary mores.
I wanted to give a nod to each of the major characters in the story, as it is their collective observations which shape the saga. I invite our users to see if they can identify 7 protagonists, 4 antagonists, and 1 who falls somewhere in-between. For the visual style, I was very much influenced by the works of Edward Gorey and Aubrey Beardsley, whose artwork embodied the debauched Gothic horror that Stoker so skillfully conveyed in his work.
Posted by Sophia Foster-Dimino, Doodler