Horror Icon Bela Lugosi's Incredible Life Story Is Now A Comic — Check Out Some Exclusive Art

It's been 90 years since Bela Lugosi portrayed the titular Count in the classic 1931 film, "Dracula." Lugosi's performance as the most famous of all vampires helped establish the character's iconography — his suave demeanor and vampire vords — and he would forever be identified with the role. However, in addition to Lugosi's professional triumphs onscreen, he had his share of personal troubles offscreen. Some of those will come into focus in "Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula," a forthcoming graphic novel from award-winning cartoonist Koren Shadmi.

Published by Humanoids, "Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula" is a biography that "chronicles the horror icon's tumultuous personal and professional life." This isn't the first time Shadmi has tackled a screen icon of the black-and-white era. His last project for Humanoids was the 2019 graphic novel, "The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television," which, as its title suggests, zeroed in on the creator and host of "The Twilight Zone."

Below, you can see an exclusive excerpt from "Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula," which shows how Lugosi' success attracted loan requests from friends. ("Can you spare a thousand dollars?") His career decline eventually left him in a hospital, unable to pay his bills because he had not appeared in any union films for the Screen Actors Guild in over five years. (Starring in low-budget, non-union Ed Wood films didn't count.)

Lugosi Art by Koren Shadmi

Boris Karloff is more famous as Frankenstein's monster, but Lugosi also played the character opposite Lon Chaney in "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man." Shadmi has certainly nailed the actor's likeness in closeup, and in absence of a proper Lugosi biopic, this graphic novel looks like it could be the next best thing.

Here's the official synopsis for "Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula:"

LUGOSI, the tragic life story of one of horror's most iconic film stars, tells of a young Hungarian activist forced to flee his homeland after the failed Communist revolution in 1919. Reinventing himself in the U.S., first on stage and then in movies, he landed the unforgettable role of Count Dracula in what would become a series of classic feature films. From that point forward, Lugosi's stardom would be assured... but with international fame came setbacks and addictions that gradually whittled his reputation from icon to has-been. LUGOSI details the actor's fall from grace and an enduring legacy that continues to this day.

"Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula" will be published under Humanoids' Life Drawn imprint on September 28, 2021.