Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s just age, but lately when I sit down to write I wind up thinking back to my childhood. The thoughts are mostly good, mind you, especially when it comes to the pop culture that helped formed my long-lasting love of horror.
Growing up, I was exposed to the classic Universal Monsters by airings on a Buffalo channel, and I fell in love with characters like Dracula and Frankenstein. Vampires really blew me away, and I suppose I became a little obsessed with them. I would often head to the library and take out books on vampires and monsters, and not just the Universal crew, but the bloodier Hammer vampires as well. Of course, I would have nightmares, and would often have to hide those library books until I could return them. And then take them out again.
When it comes to vampires, Dracula was always a favourite, and nobody in my mind has embodied the Count more than Bela Lugosi. Sure there have been others, and many likely swear by Gary Oldman’s performance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but for me, when I think of the character, it’s Bela Lugosi that I immediately see. However, even though the 1931 film is a classic, it played a bit loose with Stoker’s original novel.
Now, thanks to Legendary Comics and the family of Bela Lugosi, we can now see the legendary actor in his most enduring role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula Starring Bela Lugosi, a graphic novel adaptation of the 1897’s novel. Here’s the log line:
For the first time ever Bram Stoker’s gothic masterpiece is being united with the definitive screen Dracula, Bela Lugosi, in an all new graphic novel.
In the late 19th century, Dracula, an ancient Transylvanian Vampire, moves to England to find fresh blood and spread his evil contagion. There he encounters two women, Lucy and Mina, who become the targets of his dark obsession. Aided by a group of brave men, Professor Van Helsing arrives on the scene and takes on the Vampire Prince in the ultimate battles between the forces of light and dark!
Written by Robert Napton and illustrated by El Garing, this black and white book adheres closely to Stoker’s work, complete with a starring performance by Lugosi. Like the best adaptations, it honours the source material while giving readers something new to appreciate. I found it extremely readable, with gorgeous artwork. And seeing the Count one more time is a real treat. For lovers of vampires, Lugosi, and Universal Monsters, Bram Stoker’s Dracula Starring Bela Lugosi is highly recommended.