BOOK CORNER: Deadly pursuit of truth, revenge  lifts ‘Blacula: Return of the King’

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

Tina Thomas, a reporter for the blog Dark Knights, is on a quest for the truth regarding the legendary vampire Blacula. She encounters Kross, a young man seeking vengeance against Blacula for his family’s suffering. Meanwhile, Blacula himself, is on a hunt for Count Dracula, the one who responsible for his cursed existence.

So goes, “Blacula: Return of the King” by Rodney Barnes and illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander. 

The book was inspired by Barnes’ love for the 1972 film “Blacula” that he saw as a child.

“As I’d gotten older and revisited the film I saw the flaws I attributed to a meager budget and the state of that day’s filmmaking,” Barnes said. “I’d always wanted to update it and took my shot when the opportunity manifested itself.”

It was important for Barnes to continue the story of Blacula.

“I felt I had both the voice creatively and the experience to maintain the virtues of the original while creating a bridge to today’s world,” said the author.

The book is intended for a broad audience, including fans of the horror mystery genre and “those looking to take a sentimental walk down memory lane.” 

“I do an update in every chapter where I go through Prince Mamuwalde’s memories and in his memories, I’m really telling you what happened in the movie,” Barnes said. “The book will give you some of the history and enough context that you don’t necessarily have to watch the movie, but I suggest you watch the movie because it was a good movie for its day.”

“Blacula: Return of the King” is entertaining for readers who are new to the story of Blacula and those who are already familiar. The new book is set in the present-day community of Watts in South Los Angeles.

“My hope is that readers will be introduced to a character they’d heard of but were never introduced to, and to folks familiar with the character they’ll have a new adventure to sink their teeth into,” Barnes said.

In addition to being an author, Barnes is a screenwriter, producer and actor. He is based in Los Angeles. For more information about the author and his work, visit and Instagram and Twitter @therodneybarnes.

“Blacula: Return of the King” is available for $19.99 via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most comic shops.

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