Make a list of the living greats in horror moviemaking and you’ll need to put makeup master Rick Baker near the top. Make another list — this one for all-time icons in horror — and see how far you get before you write the name of the late, great Bela Lugosi. These two considerable brand names come together with the second issue of “Bela Lugosi’s Tales From the Grave,” which hits stores in July, and features an eye-popping (and, uh, Popeye-ing?) cover of maritime menace by Baker. The cover was unveiled at WonderCon over the weekend at the panel staged by the book’s publisher, Monsterverse, but hasn’t appeared online until now and what better way to start your Monday?
Baker — the seven-time Oscar winner whose credits include “An American Werewolf in London,” “Men in Black” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video) created the sinister and salty sailor in the foreground with ZBrush and then Kerry Gammill, the editor and publisher of Monsterverse, stepped in to create the ship and the churning sea in the background and also handled some color tweaking and the logo work. The Texas-based Gammill (whose comics work included a run on “Power Man/Iron Fist” that I remember especially enjoying as an early 1980s Marvel reader) has his cousin, Sam Park, as the West Coast editor for Monsterverse and the venture speaks to their undying interest in the undead.
“We’ve been dreaming of doing our own horror comic since we were kids,” Park said. He forwarded me a photo, which you see above, that Gammill’s father took when he popped up in “geek sanctuary” — the attic — at the Gammill home back when the cousins were in high school. Park’s description: “Kerry on the left, me on the right with a pile of Warren comics opened to various stories we were discussing when caught in the act. Note the Frankenstein wig and other Monster Kid items on the table. We were the ‘Super8‘ of our day.”
That’s some heartwarming horror, isn’t it? The third issue of the “Lugosi” series hits around Halloween, as does the company’s “Flesh and Blood,” a horror graphic novel by Robert Tinnell and Neil Vokes (the team behind “The Black Forest” and “Wicked West“) that has Gammill, Park and their team especially excited.
— Geoff Boucher
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