Friday, October 31, 2014

Bela Lugosi On Cardboard

Over the last four years I have been posting custom horror related cards on Halloween night, it began as part of Thorzul’s Nightmare on Cardboard contest but after I won in 2012 I decided not to sit back in 2013 and just be a spectator for the contest.
I still felt the itch to make some spooky cards even though I was not going to enter them in the contest just to keep up posting on Halloween night. I ended up designing cards based around one of my favorites shows Ghost Adventures. This year I decided to go with one of the best, and original, horror film villain in Bela Lugosi.

Lugosi began acting while a teenager in Hungary prior to WWI. Following the war he made his way to the U.S. where he started acting in plays before landing the lead role in the movie Dracula in 1931. For the next twenty years it seemed like every horror flick had either Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff in the leading role but by the 1950s things had cooled off for both actors.
In the early 1950s Lugosi had health problems and was in and out of drug rehab he eventually met the very unique Ed Wood who cast Bela in many of his low-budget films like Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space (possibly the worst movie ever made).
I decided to make each Bela Lugosi character correspond with a card design that was released the same year as the movie.

1931 Dracula
The Count Dracula card is based on the 1931 W517 Babe Ruth card

1932 White Zombie
The Murder Legendre card is based on the 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth card. I actually had to colorize Bela’s character because it was originally B&W and the card illustrations are color.

1939 The Son of Frankenstein
The Ygor card is based on the 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams card

1948 Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
The Dracula Is Watching card is based on the 1948 Leaf Pirate Cards layout. This is another one where I colorized every element in this card and then added filters to look like an illustration.
1959 Plan 9 From Outer Space
The Ghoul Man card is based on the 1959 Topps Hank Aaron card. This image was originally colorized in the 1950s so it was pretty bland and washed out so I brightened up the colors to a more lifelike color palette.


I had a lot of fun with this set and I had wanted to do more but it took me about 4-4.5 hours to colorize the three images that I altered and put everything together. Fortunately these early card designs  are quite basic so building the template took only a few minutes to complete.

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