Tim Lasiuta holds a copy of his graphic horror anthology. Lasiuta wrote the title story in the book. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Red Deer author takes on Nosferatu

Tim Lasiuta adapts vampire tale for graphic novel

The story of horror-show vampire Nosferatu has been adapted by Red Deer author Tim Lasiuta for a new Graphic Classics novel.

Lasiuta is a fan of old vampire movies — especially ones starring Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee. Nosferatu is a different animal altogether — a more venal beast than tortured artistocrat.

The Red Deer writer admitted he was initially less familiar with the 1922 German Expressionist film Nosferatu, but definitely boned up on the story, as told by screenwriter Henrick Galeen, after being asked to retell it for the American graphic novel series.

Lasiuta has been reviewing Graphic Classic novels for about a decade, and had previously written a cowboy story for the series. When asked by the publisher to try his hand at one of the Vampire Classics, Lasiuta didn’t initially think it would be the title tale.

But his 40-page Nosferatu story, illustrated by Craig Wilson, actually opens Vol. 26 — which Lasiuta thinks is pretty cool.

His adaption, one of seven tales in the book, is based on the vintage cinematic masterpiece, starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok. The silent picture was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel from 1897, with names and details changed, so Lasiuta also studied Stoker’s book.

He stuck to the basic story line, including aspects that best lend themselves to visual storytelling — and ended up very pleased with the results, including the grim but imaginative illustrations by Craig Wilson.

“It’s true horror, as you love to imagine it,” said Lasiuta.

The local writer, who grew up in Torrington, has contributed to many story anthologies over the years, including his original work, Hollywood Dreams of Death, which was inspired by the music of the band Rush.

He’s now working on a full-length biography of comic-book artist Joe Sinnott, who worked on many classic Marvel strips, including Spiderman and Fantastic Four. The New York State resident is now in his 90s and is still inking, said Lasiuta, who interviewed Sinnott, his relatives and co-workers for the biography that’s due to be published by Hermes Press in December.

Vampire Classics Vol. 26 can be ordered from Amazon.

lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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