Koren Shadmi (Author, Artist, Cover Artist)
Dracula, in all of our minds, is that beloved figure in black and white with an unforgettable accent very much like Lugosi′s own, right?
Well, kind of.
In these crazy quarantine times, I became hooked on an Argentinian Instagram series that watches horror films: Terror en Cuarentena. There, a great comic writer (Luciano Saracino) is paired with an equally great comic artist (Mauro Serafini), and together, every Thursday, they discuss everything that is crazy about horror films, European and American—and, wow, has it been educational.
This is where I found out many juicy details about Lugosi′s life, his poor choices, and his frantic demise, and I′m very glad I get to share some of it in graphic novel form:
Lugosi was a young Hungarian activist, forced to flee his homeland after the failed communist revolution in 1919. A member of the first artist union in the world, he had strong communist views.
After he came to the US, not speaking English at all, he worked hard, first on the stage, and then in the first movies ever to see wide release.
Count Dracula was, at first, a stage role. What Lugosi did was transport that experience to the film, to enormous success. Soon, he also encountered the perils of fame, in the form of many women and a fatal addiction to morphine.
Addicted and increasingly faltering, he made some other poor choices: from poor payment to the rejecting of the leading role in Frankenstein, which then fell to the iconic Boris Karloff, to his appearance in Ed Wood films… This is mind-blowing, because Karloff had a better career in every financial aspect, and Lugosi… just could not shake off all the phantoms of his past.
Told from the point of view of a recovering Lugosi stuck in a nursing home, this tale walks you through the main aspects of his life, from rise to fall.
AVAILABLE: September 28, 2021
Format: 160 pages – Duotone
Featured image by Koren Shadmi, all images belong to Humanoids.