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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW; Writer Victor Gischler, Part 1: Death of Dracula

In the first of an exclusive two-part interview with Earth's Mightiest, author and comic book writer Victor Gischler discusses his Death of Dracula one-shot.
EARTH’S MIGHTIEST: I just look at the amount of writing you’re doing and it seems overwhelming to me. How are you handling it all?

VICTOR GISCHLER: I’m sort of feeling it a little bit, to be honest. I always take my laptop out of town and I do work when I’m out of town, I make myself, but it’s not the same quantity of work as if I were home in my office. So even though I try to stay on top of things, it seems that every once in a while I’ll just have to put in a late night and catch up. That’s the rule.



EARTH’S MIGHTIEST: Everybody seems to be going vampire crazy these days, and you’re writing DEATH OF DRACULA and X-MEN storyline involving vampires. Is there an appeal of the vampire genre to you?

VICTOR GISCHLER: Obviously I’m not blind or deaf to what’s happening around me. I know we’ve got these TWILIGHT movies and other things. One of my novels is called VAMPIRE A GO GO, which came out last year, so I’ve done some work with vampires, though it’s more parody/satire kind of stuff. There are some of us that like and enjoy vampire stuff in spite of current trends and not because of them. I like it when vampires are scary and bad, and not pretty. Used to be that when you wanted to impress a girl, you learned to play the guitar or something, but now you just have to be a vampire and you get chicks, I guess. So I think when we started doing DEATH OF DRACULA, we really wanted to sort of make vampires cool and modern and give them a facelift in the Marvel Universe Not totally lose that core goodness of what we love about vampires, but bringing them up to speed and expanding our understanding of them in the Marvel Universe. This is something that I think has been coming for a while and has been in the making for a while, and not completely a reaction to current trends. Although, like I said, we’re not blind and deaf to what’s been going on.

EARTH’S MIGHTIEST: As silly as this question sounds, do vampires have a major presence in the Marvel Universe? Obviously I know there’s Dracula and Morbius and these different things….

VICTOR GISCHLER: It’s funny you should say that, because I asked myself the same question. In preparation for writing DEATH OF DRACULA, they sent me a bunch of stuff and, so, over the years there’s been a lot of stuff. It’s not marquee stuff, maybe it’s not the A-list stuff, but they sent me a bunch of encyclopedic kind of material on vampire-related characters that have existed before. I was surprised, wondering where all of this had come from. So we drew on a lot of that, we took a lot of it and dusted it off. One of the things in going back into the history of the Marvel Universe vampires is that they had different kinds of vampires. That seemed interesting; not all vampires are the same. I thought we should do something with that, and that’s how I started thinking, “What if we have different sects of vampires; different groupings and they have their own philosophies and ways of living?” Obviously they have a lot in common, because they’re all vampires and they drink blood and so forth, but what if we have vampires who didn’t really want to cause a lot of trouble? What if they wanted to live off by themselves and be left alone, or others that wanted to wear nice suits and use laptop computers and integrate and assimilate with humans? We just started getting into the minds of vampires. We have a whole planet earth with different nations, different peoples. That kind of would be the same for vampires, too: different tribes or something like that. So we tapped into what was already there, expanded it and took a closer look at it.

EARTH’S MIGHTIEST: With something like the death of Dracula, does he stay dead or does he come back?

VICTOR GISCHLER: Does anybody in comics? Superman doesn’t have to stay dead. Neither does Captain America. But with DEATH OF DRACULA, it’s not much of a spoiler to say that he does die. That sort of kicks things off. Whenever or wherever we may see him again, who knows? But we all know how things are in comic books: sometimes people stay dead, sometimes they don’t.

EARTH’S MIGHTIEST: You say you’re giving vampires a facelift for the Marvel Universe today, so you’re modernizing them?

VICTOR GISCHLER: We’re giving them a new look to start with. We wanted Dracula to look cool and kick-ass and fearsome. When I was a kid, I thought Bela Lugosi was great, but we’re not doing that anymore. We’re not doing Count Chocula. So just the way they look, physically, is part of it, but a larger part of it is just expanding what we know of the vampire community and how they’re organized and what they do.



EARTH’S MIGHTIEST: Is this one-shot a springboard for other vampire stories in the Marvel Universe?

VICTOR GISCHLER: There is other stuff in the works. I’m not privy to all of it, so I couldn’t give you the lowdown, but once we started in on these vampires and bringing them up to date and expanding what we think of them, it became obvious that there was some rich material to tap into. One of the first obvious things it that pretty soon after I started working on DEATH OF DRACULA, I was asked to do the new X-MEN book. When that was offered to me, we started brainstorming what the first arc might be. I think we surprised ourselves with DEATH OF DRACULA. I think we all thought it would be a pretty good book — otherwise why do it? — but it came out even better than we hoped and we got excited about the material. So we decided to carry it over to the first X-MEN arc. So I think DEATH OF DRACULA is the springboard. It’s like, “Here are vampires in the Marvel universe,” and now we’re seeing them in X-MEN and they’ll be showing up elsewhere as well.

Check out part two of this interview, covering Gischler's take on X-Men.
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EdGross
7/6/2010

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7 Comments

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