More than 20 years ago Joe. R. Lansdale wrote a novella called Bubba Ho-Tep in which Elvis Presley was alive…but living in a trailer and then a nursing home. And then fighting a mummy.
This was adapted by Don Coscarelli into a film starring Bruce Campbell as Elvis, in what this Bruceologist considers his finest non-Ash role. The tale is a musing on aging, stardom, mortality and heroism. All the good things.
And now Elvis the crimefighter is coming back in a comic by Lansdale, writer Joshua Jabcuga and artist Tadd Galusha called Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers, The story is from Elvis’s earlier days as a special agent empowered by President Nixon.
The cult of Elvis has faded somewhat in these times, but from his death in 1977 for another 20 years or so, with sightings, cloud and toast manifestations and a lot of fiction based on the idea that Elvis was alive and well. His decline from a hip wiggling superstar to overweight, drug-addled Vegas star and death at the shocking age of 42 was a metaphor for the price of fame that never lets go. The crimefighting idea was also common, and probably stems from this photo, which, well, does look like an FBI swearing in, let’s face it.
Anyway, it’s all a little weird and goofy and perfect fodder for a comic book! PR below:
Hail to the King, baby! Prior to the events of the original Bubba Ho-Tep cult story, Elvis was enlisted by President Nixon to defeat an alien threat unlike anything he’s faced before. IDW and award-winning writer Joe R. Lansdale present Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers!
“Bubba Ho-Tep was an accidental story that turned out to be my first film adaptation, and it’s still going strong in story and film,” said Lansdale. “And finally, it has inspired a background story that was first a novel, and is now represented in the medium that first made me want to be a writer: comics. Graphic novels. What we used to call Funny Books. I’m excited and looking forward to readers discovering it all in color and looking fine. May more Bubba comics burst into existence and give the world the true story of how the world has been protected from evil, and for quite some time. Thank goodness these defenders are out there, working in the shadows.”
In adapting this acclaimed work for comics, Lansdale will be joined by writer Joshua Jabcuga and artist Tadd Galusha (Godzilla: Rage Across Time), to help bring the story to terrifying life. Part of a secret government organization designed to protect civilians, Elvis Presley and a group of hardcore warriors set out to save the world from an invasion of hive-minded, shape-shifting, vampire-like creatures from a dark dimension.
Issue one arrives this March with covers by Galusha, Baldemar Rivas, and Timothy Truman.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.