blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Tomb of Dracula (1972) #37

30118I only have the vaguest memories of my previous Tomb of Dracula read through, but when Harold H. Harold appears this issue… I remembered he was going to be obnoxious beyond compare. In not disappointing my expectations, writer Marv Wolfman succeeds in disappointing my everlasting soul.

The issue opens with Dracula in Boston, messing around with a bunch of American young people. They just want him to chill out and groove, and Dracula, weakened by Doctor Sun’s mystery attack, is having none of it. He doesn’t feed, however; he’s too weak. When we next see Dracula, he will be feeding with no real explanation of why he didn’t feed before. And the comic will have skipped over the question of his Boston lair, which theoretically must be a thing.

Because instead of spending the day with Dracula, Wolfman instead tags along with Harold. Harold is a hack writer who’s been trying to get over his current case of writer’s block for three years. At least, I think it’s three years. Harold’s had writer’s block for three years; Harold writes worse than a three-year-old plant–lots of threes.

Wolfman tracks Harold from his failed drafting, where he decides just to plagiarize for his freelance assignment, then to the office where he sexually harasses and demeans the office girl, Aurora. She’s just a pretty face, he tells her, and dumb as a box of rocks. Except after he comes across Dracula in the street—Harold thinks there’s been a car accident, but Drac really dive-bombed a couple on a motorcycle and made sure to eat the girl because he’s sick of how empathetic he’s been lately. Where’s empathy gotten Dracula? Nowhere.

Anyway. Harold calls Aurora at like two in the morning for help, thinking about how she’s stupid, but she’s pretty, so maybe he’ll get laid after they take care of the vampire on his couch. I really hope Drac eats him next issue. Or lets Aurora eat him.

Capping the issue is a scene where Brother Voodoo tells Frank Drake even though Frank doesn’t seem like a white savior (he’s so ineffectual compared to lady friend Rachel Van Helsing, after all), Brother Voodoo sees the white savior in him, and all he needs to do is act with unwarranted confidence, and he’ll feel better.

It’s an eye-roll of an ending. Thank goodness for Gene Colan and Tom Palmer’s sublime art. Though their soft, lascivious cheesecake of Aurora juxtaposed against Harold (i.e., Wolfman) deriding her is weird and off-key.

Maybe Dracula can turn Aurora, and she can eat Harold. Just so long as he doesn’t become a major supporting player. Now, there’s a scary thought.

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