Alberto Breccia’s Dracula is composed of a series of brutally funny satirical misadventures starring the hapless eponymous antihero. Literally defanged (a humiliating trip to the dentist doesn’t help), the protagonist’s glory days are long behind him and other, more sinister villains (a corrupt government, overtly backed by American imperialism) are sickening and draining the life out of the villagers far more than one creature of the night ever could. This is the first painted, full-color entry in Fantagraphics’ artist-focused Alberto Breccia Library, and the atmospheric palette adds mood and dimension. It also includes a sketchbook showing the artist’s process.
Dracula has no co-author, and so Breccia’s carnivalesque vision is as pure Breccia as it gets. Created during the last of a succession of Argentine military dictatorships (1982–1983), this series of short comics stories ran in Spain’s Comix Internacional periodical in 1984. The moral purpose of Breccia’s expressionistic art style is made explicit; he shows that every ounce of his grotesque, bloated characters’ flesh and blood has been cruelly extracted from the less fortunate.