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HoDS: Return to Collinwood



"They don't have a name for what he is..."

I have been suffering from a bad case of artist's block (accompanied with a flu and a menstrual cycle) and this drawing came about after watching Silence of the Lambs (1991) and House of Dark Shadows (1970) back-to-back — for three weeks straight — and this crazy crossover started breeding in my head, bringing the 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins and the ex-FBI agent Clarice Starling together.

(First, I need to get something technical out of the way: I never really liked the "parallel time" concept, as seen in the final seasons of the Dark Shadows TV series, because I regard all the events between episodes 981 to 1199 — 1970 PT, 1995, 1840, 1841 PT storylines — were all "alternate universes"! The storylines contradicted what was already previously established. After the show's cancellation, Barnabas Collins and his confidante, Dr. Julia Hoffman, did return to "present time" after their adventures in 1841 PT, eventually married, and left Collinwood. Living together happily until Julia fell ill and died of lung cancer in 1985, the widowed and disheartened wandered the world aimlessly. Until now...)

At the dawning of the new millennia, the year 2000, the mysterious Barnabas Collins returns to the obscure, gloomy coastal village of Collinsport, Maine, which had suffered from an earthquake described as being 7.6 on the Richter Scale in 1995. The aftermath had left much of the Collins' family estate, Collinwood Mansion, malignant and decrepit. A perceptible fissures run through the walls of the masonry, and the house trembles on the crumbling foundation of Widows' Hill. The residents of Collinwood are among the last surviving members of the bloodline — fraternal twins Roderick and Madeline Collins (neé Logan), the illegitimate children of Roger Collins and his mistress Allegra Logan, an heiress from Logansport.

Barnabas introduced himself to Roderick and Madeline as a long-lost "cousin from England" and close friend to their father. Roderick, a man obsessed with the tragic history of the Collins clan, believes the family's blood is tainted and cursed, which accordingly has driven their relatives into madness, debauchery, and evil. He, hauntingly pale and sickly, is afflicted with "a morbid acuteness of the senses"; he has hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes, anything other softest light and whisper, or the blandest flavour would give him agony. And yet he is a sublime musician and painter, but a hopeless drug addict. The beautiful but melancholy Madeline is of fragile health and her brother insists that she be confined to her bed.

Labelled the Bureau's "Death Angel" by the National Tattler, Special Agent Clarice Starling is disgraced and quits the FBI. She escapes north, far away from the pressures and problems, to Collinsport, staying at the Collinsport Inn. The locals warn her not to go out at night alone. For last couple of months, a number of townsfolk have been victimed to serial attacks. The police are baffled by the case and Clarice begins to investigate, where she meets the acquaintance of the elegant and enigmatic Barnabas Collins and she becomes fascinated by him. However, his peculiar behaviour begins Clarice to suspect him and she discovers his secret — he's a vampire! He is insatiable, cursed with a hunger that is never satisfied. Every night, he wakes and must feed to survive. He is repulsed by his own needs which are abhorrent to him. He is all that he despises. And Clarice is in a difficult position to destroy the Barnabas — or to help him.

(This takes place post-Hannibal, but because I dislike the ending of the original novel, I am using the film ending instead, which I personally prefer. In the tradition of Dark Shadows, I used classical literature as a basis of part of the stories, namely Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Fall of the House of Usher.)

Models - Jonathan Frid | Jodie Foster

Medium - 4B graphite.

Barnabas Collins © Dan Curtis.
Clarice Starling © Thomas Harris.
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Chaosfive-55's avatar
This is delicious!!!! But Agent Scully might be more qualified to take on Barnabas...;P