Team Bela: Horror icon hosts new anthology comicWritten by Jim & Becky Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Known throughout the world for his legendary portrayal of Dracula in the 1931 film, the late Béla Lugosi has become the host of a new horror comic from Monsterverse, “Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave.” Debuting in time for Halloween, the book is an anthology of terror tales from a variety of writers and artists, with Lugosi looming large over the proceedings.
Lugosi, born in Austria-Hungary in 1882, died in 1958, but his indelible likeness has been shepherded since then by his son, Bela G. Lugosi Jr., who said he is thrilled to be able to present his father in this new 21st-century role.
Toledo Free Press: What really sold you on the idea of “Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave”?
Lugosi: This has been something that has been on and off the table for years, because I thought it’s always been a good idea, but [there were] never the people with the talent and desire to help put the thing out as a good product. I didn’t want Dad’s family name to be associated with a product that we weren’t all proud of, so we found that combination of people, and, really, [Monsterverse founder] Kerry Gammill’s the lead person on this, responsible for putting together such a good team.
TFP: What is your role with the book?
Lugosi: Everything. In other words, I get submissions of artwork, I get submissions of storylines and, also, actual dialog, and my daughter Lynne Sparks has been helping with all aspects of the Lugosi rights.
TFP: It sounds like a real Lugosi family affair.
Lugosi: It sure is. What I like [about the book] is the diversity. This isn’t the same story over and over, since we have such varied writers who come up with such different ideas. I love the eclectic mix of all the different stories.
TFP: What is your favorite of your father’s films?
Lugosi: I like “Son of Frankenstein” where he played Igor. It’s hard [to choose]. I mean you’ve got “White Zombie”, and, of course, I was on the set of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” so I always enjoy seeing that.
TFP: Your father has become a true icon since his passing. What has that been like for you, knowing him as a real person but witnessing this transformation?
Lugosi: It’s been very gratifying. You know, people may recognize the name or the face, but to become a real icon is very rare, and we’re cognizant of that and try to nurture that. By the time he died, he thought he was forgotten, and look now.