I'm thrilled to have graphic novelist Louis J. Pecsi, author and illustrator of Nosferatu the Untold Origin, with me as a guest today. He's been drawing since childhood and has created various effects for TV commercials and independent films. His newest project is a book that's a beautifully illustrated prequel to the classic 1922 film Nosferatu, featuring the iconic vampire Count Orlok.
Catherine Karp: Thanks for joining me, Louis. Please tell us a little about the storyline of your novel.
Louis J. Pecsi: Nosferatu the Untold Origin begins with the 15th-century crusader Count Orlok, who must burn, Elsa, a powerful witch at the stake for her refusal to worship the God of Rome.
As Elsa’s flesh is consumed, she places a curse upon Count Orlok, which transforms him into Nosferatu the vampire. As Nosferatu, Count Orlok finds himself an outcast in the village that bears his name. In an attempt to seek answers, Orlok journeys to Dracula’s castle and finds Dracula suffers from a similar curse. Unable to find a cure for his affliction, Orlok begins a 4oo-year journey that leads him to encounter ghosts, spirits, and even Van Helsing, a vampire slayer, who proves to be responsible for slaying his friend Dracula.
CK: The book contains nearly 300 full-color paintings. How would you describe the artwork?
LJP: I guess the best way to describe my art for the book is as an homage to the silent movie and my attempts as an artist to evolve into the direction of utilizing the tools of the digital age.
CK: How did you find the inspiration to create so many illustrations? How long did it take to produce them?
LJP: The art is inspired by the silent movie with its usage of heavy grease paints on the actor’s faces, which I tried to translate into the look of my book. I also looked at some of the German surreal art from that time for inspiration (I really like the original silent movie poster for Nosferatu). The art actually took close to two years to create. The art was drawn and painted by hand using a computer as a medium. The techniques I am developing I call digital paint. The reason I use this term is to clearly separate my art from the word computer graphic, which most people think of as the computer creating the finished art.
CK: What was it about the film Nosferatu that stayed with you and inspired you to create this graphic novel?
LJP: First and foremost it is one of my favorite films. I feel the look of the vampire, Count Orlok, is one of the most frightening depictions of the undead ever conceived of for the silver screen. With that notion in mind, I watched the film and wanted to create a back story for the character that would depict him as his own vampire and not a mere copy of Dracula (which is what Nosferatu originally was and also the reason Bram Stoker’s widow won a lawsuit against the distributors of Nosferatu).
CK: Are you a fan of vampires in general, or is your love of the genre mainly due to this particular story?
LJP: I am a fan of the vampire genre. I prefer most of the older films (1920s up to the 70s). One of my favorite vampire films is Dracula (1979), starring Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier . This film truly captured the essence of Dracula and the mythos that surround him, including his ability to transform into a bat (this film contains one of the best bat transformations put on film).
CK: You've said, "One of my best pieces of effects work is an old man makeup I created for a short adaptation of Poe’s 'The Tell-Tale Heart.'" I'm a huge fan of Poe myself, so I'd love to hear more about your work on this project.
LJP: My job on this film was to create the special makeup effects, which involved turning a twenty-two-year-old actor into an aging old man with a milky white eye. The makeup was sculpted out of clay and molded out of foam pieces. All together it took about 6 hours to apply and looked hellishly real. It was an incredibly rewarding project.
CK: Do you work mainly in the realm of horror, or do you enjoy other genres, as well?
LJP: I enjoy all genres, but horror and science fiction are my favorites.
CK: Where can readers learn more about you and Nosferatu the Untold Origin?
LJP: Visit our website: nosferatuorigins.com or nosferatutheuntoldorigin.com.
If you visit please leave a comment . The book is also on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.
CK: Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your work. Best wishes for your gorgeously crafted novel.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Suburban Vampire Archive
- ► 2012 (54)
- ► 2011 (151)
- ► 2010 (240)
- One of the first 2010 vampire films: DAYBREAKERS
- Interview with graphic novelist Louis J. Pecsi
- Holiday video: An American Vampire Christmas
- Contest winner and other tidbits
- End-of-December goodies
- Guest blogger David Henley's online book tour and ...
- Winner of Amy Gray's HOW TO BE A VAMPIRE
- Music Monday: Gothic-style Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah...
- Vote for the Best Vampire Book Covers of 2009
- Suburban Vampire featured on HORROR FOR THE HOLIDA...
- Last day for Best Vampire Book Covers of 2009 nomi...
- City of Eternals
- Contest: HOW TO BE A VAMPIRE
- Music Monday: Merry Scary Christmas
- Winner: HOW TO DATE A VAMPIRE by Sophie Collins
- Contests (plural)!
- BITE and THE FIXER trailers
- Best Vampire Book Covers of 2009
- ▼ December (18)
- ► 2008 (264)