Reviews: Dark Shadows by D.J Arneson

Title: Dark Shadows: The Original Series Story Digest Interrupted Voyage
Author: D.J. Arneson
Illustrated by: Joe Carta
Series: Standalone
Genre:  Supernatural, Horror
Source: Netgalley
Format: Galley
Pub. Year: Feb. 15, 2012
Purchase: B&N /Amazon
I received this book free of charge from Netgalley in return for an honest opinion.

What I will remember: A great mix of supernatural creatures.

I had to get this book from Netgalley, it’s Dark Shadows. It was a gothic drama on daytime TV in the late 60’s -70’s and again in the late-90’s. If that doesn’t captivate someone, Johnny Depp is playing Barnabas in the new Dark Shadows film by Tim Burton. My favorite combination, Depp and Burton.

Dark Shadows

Barnabas and Quentin

I absolutely love the artwork that accompanies the book. The art has an old feel to it which I love. It has very dark tones and shades. The best part is that it accompanies the storyline so the pictures capture moments in the story. Plus, all the characters are drawn there so there is no need for a physical description of them. It may have to do with the fact the story was written while Dark Shadows was on TV. I wished I knew what the art style was called so I could better explain it.

Story wise, I love it. It is a gothic tale through and through. We have Annabelle as the ghost, Barnabas as the vampire turned human, Angelique as the evil sister of Annabelle, and Calandra the witch. Oh, and Michael the zombie as well. The setting also contributes to the gothic feeling. It is a shore city where the inhabitants don’t trust strangers and are into burning at the stake. Plus, it is a tragic love story where the lovers (Annabelle and Michael)  are both dead and are trying to reunite with each other in the afterlife. A very lovely story.

The bonus features at the end is something that I really enjoyed. It mainly consists of the photographs of the original Dark Shadows with Jonathan Frid as Barnabas.  Some photos are of the cast posing for pictures and a few screenshots. Most are in black and white but some are in color.

Final thoughts on Dark Shadows, it is awesome. The artwork reminds me of the style use in comic books. It has an eclectic mix of supernatural creatures and somehow it makes sense for a witch to control a zombie. It is a gothic tale. Plus, Johnny Depp is going to be in the film adaptation and so is Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix from Harry Potter and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd) but more important, Tim Burton is directing it. I totally have to see this film. The only thing that would make this film even more exciting would be having Alan Rickman in it. Oh, I love him.  Hmm, getting off topic. Um, this is a five for me because I’m a huge fan of Dark Shadows and the movie has me pretty hype up.


5 BB- Total Keeper

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows Photo Promo (from Teaser Trailer)

Posted on December 30, 2011, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I look forward to reading this. I loved the old Dark Shadows; it was my go-to show on SciFi whenever I’d be sick at home from school as a kid. I agree completely that the contemporary art-style of the graphic novel seems perfect in this case.

    Flashy graphics and bright computer-generated images (which is sadly becoming the norm on comic store shelves) is fine for a superhero comic, but not in a gothic drama/horror story.

    Alan Rickman would fit right in; I couldn’t agree more! As for Tim Burton behind the wheel… well I’m not a hater by any means, Edward Scissor Hands and Ed Wood are both classics imo, but I feel as if he sometimes tries too hard to convey atmosphere and tone. Also, I sincerely hope they don’t market this wrongly – as a Hot-Topic “Flavor of the Month” production meant to capitalize on the recent popularity of “vampires,” rather than on its own, already long-established, merits.

    In any event, I will probably see the movie opening weekend solely on its name alone, and will be sure to look for this graphic novel in February.

    • Tim Burton’s style is not for everyone and I totally understand your apprehension with him being the director. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not his greatest work but generally, I love his style.

      It completely slipped my mind that it could become Hot Topic’s flavor of the month. I think there is a high possibility that it will simply because it is Johnny Depp, Tim Burton and it has gothic elements that will appeal to Hot Topic shoppers.

      I did’t get to see it when it was on TV but I did buy the seasons for the original show. And I agree that flashy graphics would not have worked for this book because it is a classic, gothic tale.

      I really can’t wait for the movie. I’m going to see it opening weekend as well. I do wish Alan Rickman would have been in the movie. He’s amazing.

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