Friday, June 13, 2008

Vince Fago and Dracula

Time for another book off the shelf. Vince Fago was a Golden Age comic book artist/editor best known for his work in the funny animal field. In the 1970's, however, he also spearheaded a line of comics-style adaptations of classic literature intended for schools. The only one of these that ever fell into my hands was DRACULA. Contemporary to Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan's Marvel version of the Count, this is as straightforward an adaptation of Bram Stoker's original novel as you can get (when you consider that the original was actually a series of letters and journal entries).

The art was by Nestor Redondo, an excellent Filipino comics illustrator who had 20 years of experience and success outside the US before he ended up becoming known for his seventies suspense (and some SWAMP THING) stories for DC.

If the ubiquitous 80's/'90's children's hardcover classics with art mostly by the Pablo Marcos studio were analogous to Big Little Books then these Now Age Illustrated Classics from Pendulum were certainly a modern version of CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED. The one I have is a paperback but I have seen hardbacks. The whole series was also repackaged a number of times over the years in different formats.


  1. I actually have about 10 of these books. I got 2 boxed sets of 5 each of science-fiction type stories, all paperbacks.

    I know I have Dracula, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Time Machine, 20000 Leagues, and several more. All artwork by different Filipino artists. Will have to double check what I got.

  2. The 2 sets are:

    Vol I: Science Fiction
    * Invisible Man
    * War of the Worlds
    * 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    * Time Machine
    * Journey to the Center of the Earth

    Vol II: Horror & High Adventure
    * Dracula
    * Moby Dick
    * Frankenstein
    * Call of the Wild
    * Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    Nestor Rendondo did a couple, Alex Nino did several of these, the rest by several unknown (to me) Filipino artists.

    Another interesting ORIGINAL series done by Pendulum was Solarman (in 79/80). AFAIK, only 3 issues done, all in color. Written by David Oliphant, told of a alien from the Sun (lived in a weird hollow interior metal world called CoreSun, inhabited by 2 humanoid races) who came to the earth to help us not destroy ourselve with war and pollution. To raise money, became a baseball star.

    2nd issue was drawn by Dick Giordino and Frank McLaughlin, don't recall who did the first, and the third was not credited, but looks like Rendondo.