If you grew up in a time when book fairs were a thing, you almost certainly know Bunnicula. Every kid in the 1980s and 1990s had Bunnicula. Written and created by James and Deborah Howe, it follows a pet rabbit found in a movie theater playing Dracula which leads the family dog to believe it’s a “vampire bunny.” The book for young readers spawned multiple sequels as well as TV show and now it’s getting a whole new re-imagination.
Out this week is Bunnicula: The Graphic Novel written by James Howe and Andrew Donkin, with illustrations by Stephen Gilpin. “The key to a good adaptation is when the adapter really gets the voice and style of the original author,” Howe told Publisher’s Weekly. “When that happens, the original author—in this case, me—feels comfortable turning over the reins.”
Donkin has expanded the story, fleshing out the backstories of some characters for example—but he knew that to make the book work, it had to keep its essence. “The idea of something being cute and sinister, furry and frightening at the same time has a brilliant, ageless appeal to kids and adults alike,” he said.
As for the illustrations, Gilpin knew it had to be new and fresh but also recognizable to fans of the original books. “We wanted to keep it timeless, so we added stuff that didn’t exactly ‘date’ it,” Gilpin said. “Old boxy TV sets would have done that, but the computer [Harold writes on in the book] could be 15 years old.”
So what exactly does that all look like? Well, io9 has 10 exclusive pages for you to check out by clicking through the slideshow. Check them out and get Bunnicula: The Graphic Novel in stores now.