Alan Moore on Dracula

Excerpt from an interview included in Vampirella/Dracula: The Centennialpublished in 1997 by Harris. Comics The book contained „The new European„, a short comics by Moore, drawn by Gary Frank. Interview by David Bogart, titled „Dracula, graveyard poets, & an interview with Alan Moore“. / PS LT: Včera jsem ho četl knižně, pokusil jsem se ho najít na netu, aspoň část, povedlo se/

Bogart: […] What do you think is the appeal of Dracula or vampires to our culture?
Alan Moore: 
The appeal of a vampire to our culture is a long and complex one. We can trace the development of not just the vampire, but the whole field of supernatural horror from the „graveyard poets“ of the 18th century. They had been celebrating graveyards that had more or less vanished, where the dead only had a temporary residency. In these graveyards, a body would first be buried and then when the flesh was partially decomposed, it was dug up and the bones would be separated.
Around about the 18th century, we seemed to undergo, as a culture, a number of psychological changes in which the evidence of death that filled daily life was „brushed under the carpet“; as a culture, we no longer wanted to have the smell of death around us, we no longer wanted to see corpses or bones; we began to sanitize everything. We no longer felt as comfortable with death as we had been. This is due perhaps to the burgeoning Age of Reason. The assault on traditional notions of God and an afterlife caused people to become less certain of heaven and thus, death was no longer just a mere stepping stone.
However, death IS one of the major parts of human life, and we could not really entirely suppress it. After the graveyard poets came the gothic writers who turned all the trappings of death into a kind of „sugary fantasy“ that people could delight in, in the warmth and safety of their own sitting rooms. In a way, it was an attempt to tame death-to remove the real evidence of death in our lives and to substitute a parade of demons and devils and monsters…with which we could enjoy the vicarious pleasure of it. Of that gallery of grotesques, the vampire is obviously one of the most exciting and endearing. The vampire is not only full of the morbid fascination that the dead hold, but it is also incredibly sexual. The idea of transferring bodily fluids, be it blood or any other kind, is a sexual idea. The vampire has been portrayed largely as a sexual figure representing the elements of sex and death, and thus one can understand the appeal of the vampire.

How does your Dracula differ from most interpretations?
In my particular story, Dracula’s motivations become cryptic. We’re not entirely sure what he is. His motivation in the traditional story is simply to seek fresh blood, but now there are other possible agendas in play. He is a very knowing and aware Dracula-of himself and his fiction. What makes this fresh interpretation so frightening is that we don’t know what is going on-he is no longer tamed by the laws and logic we know and understand. My version is aware of those other past portrayals; he is aware of the entire media history of Dracula. My version exists in a world where the Dracula books and movies also exist. In a way, it makes it a stranger concept, because it brings the whole thing into the murky borderlines of fact and fiction. In a way, it gives the basic concept enough of a twist to make it fresh again. The main problem of vampires is that it has become such a repetitive motif, full of clichés such as the red eyes, the fangs, the rubber bat on a string…what I have tried to do is make Dracula very unfamiliar. He’s stripped of the gothic castle, and has been based in a disturbingly modern context. The effect I hope, is to refresh the vampire-jaded palette of the reader.