K is for Kurt Barlow

Man, it was hard to come up with a K entry this week! I’ve been confining myself to books I’ve actually read, and the way I made my initial list was just by scanning my book shelves. That, though, misses potential characters from books I’ve read but no longer own–and between my selling stuff off to the local used book store and just loaning stuff out, that’s a significant well of possible characters. Although I no longer own the books, I had a “Stephen King phase” in high school and read all of his books up through Pet Cemetery or so and that’s where this week’s AlphaBooks character is from:

K is for Kurt Barlow — From ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

‘Salem’s Lot is basically King’s homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Kurt Barlow is the stand-in for the original Count Dracula. In fact, the physical descriptions of the two characters are nearly identical. Here’s how Stoker describes the Count:

”a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache”. His mouth ”was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years”.

Here’s King’s description of Barlow:

”a tall, extremely thin silhouette”. His ”cheekbones were high and Slavic, his forehead pale and bony, his dark hair swept straight back” and ”[h]is teeth curved out over his full lips, white with strong streaks of yellow, like ivory”.

‘Salem’s Lot–which has been aptly described as “Payton Place with vampires”–though, takes place in the then-present day, the late 1970s. Clothing-wise, Barlow is described as, ”all tricked out in a suit, vest and all,” so I figured it was safe to assume he’d be wearing some pretty snazzy late ’70s apparel. I cribbed together a quick collage of 1979 fashion as inspiration for his outfit:

As usual, the drawing was hand-drawn in colored pencil, inked in Digital Manga Studio, and colored in Photoshop.

Next week: “L”…

You can find all the AlphaBooks entries to-date at the AlphaBooks tumblr: http://alphabooks.tumblr.com. You can also follow many of the entries as they’re posted in real-time by following the #AlphaBooks hashtag on Twitter on Mondays.


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