If you were to ask me what my favorite comics were growing up, I'd name "Vampirella", the entire Curtis line (Marvel's black and white comic magazines like "Vampire Tales", "Dracula Lives!" and so forth), and the reprints of the EC horror comics. They don't make comics like this anymore. Modern comic creators either get too explicit with the gore and sex that it turns me off, or the stories are just plain bad retreads. I'm not a reader of modern comic books, if I go to a comic store I'm most likely buying back issues or a collection of something 30 years old.
That's why I wasn't too excited by Monsterverse putting out "Bela Lugosi's Tales From The Grave". Being a huge Lugosi fan I didn't want my hero's image cheapened by smacking his name on some inferior product. I wasn't going to buy it at first, but when I went to Chiller Theatre at the end of October Bela Lugosi Jr. (who is a really nice guy) had it for sale on his table. The Basil Gogos cover was so beautiful I had to get one. I actually didn't crack it open until after we got home, and boy was I surprised.
Each story in this anthology, from writing to art, is wonderfully done. I have to stand up and applaud publisher and editor-in-chief Kerry Gammill for putting together so much great talent.
Bela Lugosi serves as host, narrator and, in one story, star of the tales presented. One of my favorites from the issue was the "Lost Lugosi Film Theater", the conceit being these stories are films Lugosi did, but were too horrific to show back in the 1940s. The first entry, "The Midnight Museum" by Martin Powell and Terry Beatty, is a great shocker in the EC tradition but also retains the feel that a Lugosi film of that era.
Another favorite, "Mark of The Zombie" by Rob E. Brown harkens back to "White Zombie" in a tale of zombies in Haiti. Not being a current comic fan, I hadn't heard of Rob E. Brown before but I'm a new fan.
I could do a paragraph or two on each story, but I want you to go out and enjoy the issue without it being spoiled. Diamond, who distributes the book to comic shops, will fill all back orders so there is not reason for your local shop to be sold out. If you're a fan of Lugosi like I am I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.
Until Next Time,
(Here is the review from our November 14th show)