Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula

Humanoids. Sept. 2021. 160p. ISBN 9781643376615. pap. $24.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Another masterful graphic novel biography written and illustrated by Shadmi (The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television). In 1955, an ailing 72-year-old Bela Lugosi checks into the hospital hoping to kick a debilitating addiction to morphine. As he hallucinates, charms his nurses, and chats with visitors, his life story unfolds. Born in Hungary, Lugosi first sought stardom on stage in Budapest. Despite winning mostly minor roles, the dashingly handsome actor assumed a lifestyle befitting the leading man he hoped to become. Following World War I, he immigrated to New York, where a critically lauded turn as Count Dracula in a 1927 Broadway production led to his being cast in the film adaptation a few years later. International fame and fortune followed but proved difficult to retain; within just a few years, Lugosi’s lavish spending, combined with poorly considered business decisions and the machinations of Hollywood moguls, resulted in his declaring bankruptcy. Relegated to appearing in shoddy B-movies, Lugosi’s faltering career only exacerbated his personal issues and physical decline; his creative partnership with filmmaker Edward Wood was a lone bright spot in the years preceding his death.
VERDICT A masterfully illustrated and poignant biography presented with a sense of drama that’s well-suited to its subject, who gave a performance powerful enough to remain iconic after almost a century.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing