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Vampire fiction wasn’t always a popular genre, but as it appeared first in J. Polidori’s The Vampyre, it started to gradually gain renown and having a boom in 1897, when astonishing and petrifying Bram Stoker’s Dracula, that set the staple of a classic vampire novel. The past century gave birth to a set of horror vampire moving pictures (that’s how they called the movies back then): the Nosferatu silent film (1922) followed by Bela Lugosi’s series of movies (1930-1940), over 1950-1960 Hammer films produced a number of moving pictures about vampires that were called Hammer Horror films. From that point the vampire popularity was expanding exponentially, with people creating mainstream masterpieces e.g. Dark Shadow TV series (1966-1971) and last but not least, Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series (1997-2001), modifying the vampire moving pictures by adding an element of modern society to the classic scenario. Vampires, being cunning creatures, attacked both the book world and the movies. Even though an attractive blonde vampire slayer
Buffy was killing hordes of vampires on screen, Anne Rice’s Louis had been conquering the hearts of readers for decades when Buffy didn’t even exist at that point. Nevertheless, the blonde vampire slayer had managed to successfully lead vampires into twenty first century, keeping vampire popularity higher than ever.
Twenty first century. They are everywhere. You can find them in the dark cinemas (Twilight, Vampire’s assistant, Underworld, Van Helsing, Priest, Blade, 30 days of night and many more), in every bookshop (twilight series being the current best seller), every graphic novel store (countless titles), every house on the TV screens (The Vampire Diaries being the most popular). Vampires are everywhere. And they are back for more, more… fame. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series sold over 70 million copies. If you haven’t heard it, you’ve been living under a rock, because it is so popular, there’s going to be a movie based on every book in Twilight book series. Tanya Huff, Rosemary Laurey, Charlie Huston, Drew Silver are only several out of many vampire fiction writers that may become Stephanie Meyer of tomorrow, expanding vampire genre to the limits. But what keeps surprising and amazing, is the amount of vampire pictures and images drawn by thousands of talented artists. The absolute majority of those vampire pictures are found in the internet.
Those are mostly seductive portrayals of vampire males and females, glancing mysteriously with their natural attractive mesmerizing eyes. As a proof to that, go ahead and google "vampire pictures" and you may just find no less 111 million sites.
Fiction is supposed to reflect nation’s culture. Expanded from mere mythology, vampires are the culture of today and, most probably, tomorrow. The secret of vampire’s popularity lies within the character’s ability to be both evil and romantic character depending on the situation, which reflects human nature of dualism, because there are simply no entirely bad people or good people, it’s what one chooses to act as. That feature opened more ways for the narrative to explore, and from the horrific terror- person you run from, vampires were domesticated and modernized into attractive bad boy, and the bad boy archetype was being popularized since Coppola’s gangsters. Do you now see how “good-bad-good again guy” is a win-win character?