My earliest memories (which are pretty vague to be honest) of being introduced to the king of all horror icons came in the form of Wall’s Dracula – a mix fruit flavour ice lolly; and three 80s cartoons: the Drak Pack, Groovie Ghoulies and Count Duckula.

Like I said my memories of these are quite thin, so here’s a few visual treats for your to feast your eyes upon.

My first encounter with the original book came prior to the release of Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman taking the reigns in the title role.

Having re-read the book in recent years it’s easy to see why it has endured for so long. The first third of the book is a fantastic piece of horror writing. Fast paced. Haunting. Detailed. It’s dark, gothic gloom at its best. For me, the mid-section dips a little with most of the human characters talking about how concerned they were for each other all the time. But, give the story its full due it does ramp up the pace in the final race back to Dracula’s castle.

I had seen various incarnations of the character since my lollypop sucking (no pun intended) and cartoon loving days. But there was something about Gary Oldman’s interpretation, along with the costume and make-up design, that really struck a chord with me. Months before the film came out.

The overall look of the film is a feast for the eyes, documented as drawing from what came before it – particularly the silent black and white movie Nosferatu. I drew pictures for my art class, I read the book and watched documentaries on TV. I even bought the soundtrack and listened to Annie Lennox’s Love Song for a Vampire countless times. Still, many years later, Gary Oldman remains my favourite.

I would love to add these to my collection someday.

So what were your first encounters with the Big D? Do you have a favourite interpretation? Who do you think would be great in the role when they remake/reboot the story for another generation?

No need to put your answers on a postcard scrawled in blood. Just drop a comment below. Look forward to hearing your stories, as always.

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