His Father's Shadow
Bela Lugosi, Jr. Keeping Father's Memory
(And Image) Alive...
been waiting for?
two years ago now, my friend Sam Park told me about a project
he was working on that had him really excited. With his cousin
Kerry Gammill and friend Keith Wilson, they'd started the
project that would be Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave,
an all-star jam of short comic book horror stories tied together
by... well, you can understand from the title.
in order to do that, they had to have one man to say it
could all go -- Bela Lugosi, Jr. Head of Lugosi Enterprises,
a company dedicated to protecting and propogating the iconic
image of the classic film star.
Comic-Con this year, Bela spent time at the Vanguard Press
booth, and when Sam introduced us, I had to do an interview.
It's not every day you meet someone whose very name conjures
up such vivid imagery.
the son's face you can see the father, as well as an excitement
to be doing honor to his past.
McCaw: This may sound odd, but I think
when I first heard about this project, At one you were going
by a different name,weren't you?
Bela Lugosi, Jr: Bill. I went by Bill.
I thought it would deflect attention, but it didn’t
McCaw: How did you get involved with Kerry
Gammill and the Monsterverse?
Terry Beatty, from a story in the first issue.
Lugosi, Jr.: I’m always looking for good
ideas to use dad’s iconic image to keep the memory
alive with good projects. Kerry came to me in a very professional
way with the experience and ability to put out a good comic
book that’s “Bela Lugosi presents,” and
he (Bela Lugosi) will be presenting in the comic
book, each of the stories.
McCaw: Before this, were you a fan of
the comics medium at all?
Lugosi, Jr.: Somewhat. Not an avid fan, but I did
have comic books.
McCaw: Now you’ve seen the first
issue. What excites you most about the project?
Lugosi, Jr: What I like is how different each story
is, one from the other. That makes it very interesting,
all the different graphics are whole different takes on
the characters, so I like that. Of course with the first
issue, I love the Basil Gogos cover. It’s top notch.
McCaw: Did you have much oversight on
the project? Everything had to be okayed by you, I’d
Lugosi, Jr.: Yes. I get the preliminary drafts
and say yes, no, or here’s my changes.
McCaw: How old were you when you realized
how large of a shadow your father has cast on popular culture?
Lugosi, Jr.: Oh, grade school.
McCaw: What did that mean to you growing
Lugosi, Jr.: Oh, I got a lot of attention. I didn’t
McCaw: What else do you have in the hopper
to bring your dad’s image back into the cultural mindset?
Dracula does not drink ...wine
Lugosi, Jr.: I also have a t-shirt licensor who
does belt buckles, and just t-shirts, I guess. It’s
Rock Rebel. He does a nice product, very good work. Also
Phil Kim has licensed a sterling silver coin, and we have
our own wine, Bela Lugosi brand wine.
McCaw: Available at BevMo?
Lugosi, Jr.: No, not yet, but that’d be good.
McCaw: Where can you get the wine?
Lugosi, Jr.: You can get it on the web. It’s
SouthernWines.com. Just type in “Lugosi” in
the search window, and it takes you
right to our wine.
got called away, but we can hope it's not the last time
our paths cross.
course, Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave #1 arrives in
comics shops on October 20th, coincidentally but fortuitously
the birthday of Bela Lugosi, Sr. You can order it through
August 27th in the Diamond Previews Catalog, ORDER